KAZAKHSTAN (Kazakh : Қазақстан, translit. Qazaqstan, IPA:
( listen ); Russian : Казахстан, IPA: ), officially the
REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN (Kazakh: Қазақстан
Республикасы, translit. Qazaqstan Respy'bli'kasy; Russian:
Республика Казахстан, tr. Respublika Kazakhstan),
is the world's largest landlocked country , and the ninth largest in
the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq
Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of
Central Asia economically,
generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil/gas
industry. It also has vast mineral resources. Some argue that
Kazakhstan may be considered a European country because Kazakhstan's
Western region is on the European continent and meets the Council of
Europe 's criteria for European inclusion.
Kazakhstan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary,
constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Kazakhstan
shares borders with
Uzbekistan , and
Turkmenistan , and also adjoins a large part of the
Caspian Sea . The
Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe , taiga , rock
canyons , hills , deltas , snow-capped mountains , and deserts .
Kazakhstan has an estimated 18 million people as of 2014 . Given its
large land area, its population density is among the lowest, at less
than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq. mi.). The
Astana , where it was moved in 1997 from
Almaty , the
country's largest city.
The territory of
Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by Turkic
nomads who trace their ancestry to many Turkic states such as Turkic
Khaganate and etc. In the 13th century, the territory joined the
Mongolian Empire under
Genghis Khan . By the 16th century, the Kazakh
emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz (ancestor
branches occupying specific territories). The
Russians began advancing
Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th
century, they nominally ruled all of
Kazakhstan as part of the Russian
Empire . Following the
1917 Russian Revolution , and subsequent civil
war , the territory of
Kazakhstan was reorganised several times. In
1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist
Republic , part of the
Soviet Union .
Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare
independence during the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in 1991. The
current President ,
Nursultan Nazarbayev , has been leader of the
country since then, and is characterised as authoritarian, with a
government history of human rights abuses and suppression of political
Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy , especially
its dominant hydrocarbon industry.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch says that
Kazakhstan heavily restricts freedom of assembly, speech, and
religion," and other human rights organisations regularly describe
Kazakhstan\'s human rights situation as poor.
Kazakhstan's 131 ethnicities include
Kazakhs (63% of the population),
Tatars , and
Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with
Christianity practised by 26%.
Kazakhstan officially allows freedom
of religion , but religious leaders who oppose the government are
Kazakh language is the state language , and Russian
has equal official status for all levels of administrative and
Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations
, WTO , CIS , the
Eurasian Economic Union , CSTO , SCO , OSCE , OIC ,
and TURKSOY .
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.4 Independence
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate
* 3.2 Wildlife
* 3.3 Administrative divisions
* 3.4 Municipal divisions
* 4 Politics
* 4.1 Political system
* 4.2 Political culture
* 4.3 Foreign relations
* 4.4 Military
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Macroeconomic trends
* 5.2 Agriculture
* 5.3 Natural resources
* 5.4 Tourism
* 5.5 Transport
* 5.6 Banking
* 5.7 Green economy
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
* 5.9 Bond market
* 5.10 Economic competitiveness
* 5.11 Housing market
* 5.12 "Nurly Zhol" economic policy
* 5.13 Corruption
* 6 Science and technology
* 7 Demographics
* 7.2 Languages
* 7.3 Urban centres
* 7.5 Education
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 Cuisine
* 8.2 Sport
* 8.3 Film
* 8.4 Media
UNESCO World Heritage sites
* 8.6 Public holidays
* 9 Membership of international organisations
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Sources
* 14 Further reading
* 15 External links
* 15.1 General
* 15.2 Government
* 15.3 Trade
The name "Kazakh" comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, "to
wander", reflecting the Kazakhs' nomadic culture. The name "
is of the same origin. The Persian suffix
-stan means "land" or
"place of", so
Kazakhstan can be literally translated as "land of the
Though traditionally referring only to ethnic
Kazakhs , including
those living in China, Russia, Turkey,
Uzbekistan and other
neighbouring countries, the term "Kazakh" is increasingly being used
to refer to any inhabitant of Kazakhstan, including non-Kazakhs.
History of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the
Paleolithic . Pastoralism
developed during the
Neolithic as the region's climate and terrain are
best suited for a nomadic lifestyle. The Kazakh territory was a key
constituent of the Eurasian
Steppe route , the ancestor of the
terrestrial Silk Roads . Archaeologists believe that humans first
domesticated the horse (i.e. ponies) in the region's vast steppes.
Central Asia was originally inhabited by the
Scythians . According to
the Jewish historian,
Josephus , areas of
Uzbekistan and Afghanistan) were also
inhabited earlier by a
Semitic race of
Aramaeans , the sons of Gather.
Ablai Khan served as khan of the
Middle jüz from 1771 to 1781
The Cuman entered the steppes of modern-day
Kazakhstan around the
early 11th century, where they later joined with the Kipchak and
established the vast Cuman-Kipchak confederation. While ancient cities
Taraz (Aulie-Ata) and
Hazrat-e Turkestan had long served as important
way-stations along the
Silk Road connecting
Asia and Europe, true
political consolidation began only with the
Mongol rule of the early
13th century. Under the
Mongol Empire , the largest in world history,
administrative districts were established. These eventually came under
the rule of the emergent
Kazakh Khanate (Kazakhstan). Traditional
Kazakh wedding dress
Throughout this period, traditional nomadic life and a livestock
-based economy continued to dominate the steppe . In the 15th century,
a distinct Kazakh identity began to emerge among the Turkic tribes, a
process which was consolidated by the mid-16th century with the
appearance of the
Kazakh language , culture, and economy.
Nevertheless, the region was the focus of ever-increasing disputes
between the native Kazakh emirs and the neighbouring Persian-speaking
peoples to the south. At its height the Khanate would rule parts of
Central Asia and control
Cumania . By the early 17th century, the
Kazakh Khanate was struggling with the impact of tribal rivalries,
which had effectively divided the population into the Great, Middle
and Little (or Small) hordes (jüz ). Political disunion, tribal
rivalries, and the diminishing importance of overland trade routes
between East and West weakened the Kazakh Khanate.
Khiva Khanate used
this opportunity and annexed
Mangyshlak Peninsula . Uzbek rule there
lasted two centuries until the Russian arrival.
During the 17th century, the
Oirats , a federation of
Mongol tribes, including the Dzungar . The beginning of the
18th century marked the zenith of the Kazakh Khanate. During this
period the Little Horde participated in the 1723–1730 war against
the Dzungar, following their "Great Disaster" invasion of Kazakh
territories. Under the leadership of
Abul Khair Khan , the Kazakh won
major victories over the Dzungar at the Bulanty River in 1726, and at
the Battle of Anrakay in 1729.
Ablai Khan participated in the most significant battles against the
Dzungar from the 1720s to the 1750s, for which he was declared a
"batyr" ("hero") by the people. The Kazakh suffered from the frequent
raids against them by the Volga Kalmyk . The
Kokand Khanate used the
weakness of Kazakh jüzs after Dzungar and Kalmyk raids and conquered
present Southeastern Kazakhstan, including
Almaty , the formal capital
in the first quarter of the 19th century. Also, the Emirate of Bukhara
Shymkent before the
Russians took dominance.
Cossacks in skirmish with
In the late 18th century the
Kazakhs took advantage of Pugachev\'s
rebellion , which was centred on the Volga area, to raid Russian and
Volga German settlements. In the 19th century, the Russian Empire
began to expand its influence into
Central Asia . The "
Great Game "
period is generally regarded as running from approximately 1813 to the
Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 . The tsars effectively ruled over
most of the territory belonging to what is now the
Russian Empire introduced a system of administration and built
military garrisons and barracks in its effort to establish a presence
Central Asia in the so-called "Great Game" for dominance in the
area against the
British Empire , which was extending its influence
from the south in
India and Southeast Asia.
Russia built its first
Orsk , in 1735.
Russia introduced the
Russian language in all
schools and governmental organisations.
Russian efforts to impose its system aroused the resentment by the
Kazakh people , and, by the 1860s, some
Kazakhs resisted Russia's
rule. It had disrupted the traditional nomadic lifestyle and
livestock-based economy, and people were suffering from hunger and
starvation, with some Kazakh tribes being decimated. The Kazakh
national movement, which began in the late 19th century, sought to
preserve the native language and identity by resisting the attempts of
Russian Empire to assimilate and stifle them.
From the 1890s onward, ever-larger numbers of settlers from the
Russian Empire began colonising the territory of present-day
Kazakhstan, in particular the province of
Semirechye . The number of
settlers rose still further once the
Trans-Aral Railway from Orenburg
Tashkent was completed in 1906. A specially created Migration
Department (Переселенческое Управление) in
St. Petersburg oversaw and encouraged the migration to expand Russian
influence in the area. During the 19th century about 400,000 Russians
immigrated to Kazakhstan, and about one million Slavs, Germans, Jews,
and others immigrated to the region during the first third of the 20th
Vasile Balabanov was the administrator responsible for the
resettlement during much of this time. Russian settlers near
The competition for land and water that ensued between the Kazakh and
the newcomers caused great resentment against colonial rule during the
final years of Tsarist
Russia . The most serious uprising, the Central
Asian Revolt , occurred in 1916. The Kazakh attacked Russian and
Cossack settlers and military garrisons. The revolt resulted in a
series of clashes and in brutal massacres committed by both sides.
Both sides resisted the communist government until late 1919.
Main article: Kazakh Soviet Socialist
Kazakhstan experienced a brief period of autonomy (Alash
Autonomy ) during the tumultuous period following the 1917 collapse of
the Russian Empire, the
Kazakhs eventually succumbed to Soviet rule.
In 1920, the area of present-day
Kazakhstan became an autonomous
republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Soviet repression of the traditional elite, along with forced
collectivisation in the late 1920s and 1930s, brought famine and high
fatalities, leading to unrest (see also:
1932–33 ). The Kazakh population declined by 38% due to
starvation and mass emigration. Estimates suggest that the population
Kazakhstan would be closer to 28–35 million if there had been no
starvation or emigration of the Kazakh.
During the 1930s, many renowned Kazakh writers, thinkers, poets,
politicians and historians were killed on Stalin's orders, both as
part of the
Great Purge and as a methodical pattern of suppressing
Kazakh identity and culture. Soviet rule took hold, and a Communist
apparatus steadily worked to fully integrate
Kazakhstan into the
Soviet system. In 1936
Kazakhstan became a Soviet republic . Millions
of political prisoners and undesired ethnic groups were internally
Kazakhstan from other parts of the
Soviet Union during the
1930s and 1940s; many of the deportation victims were deported to
Kazakhstan merely due to their ethnic heritage or beliefs.
For example, after the German invasion of the
Soviet Union in June
1941 , the Soviets transported approximately 400,000 Volga Germans
Kazakhstan in September 1941. Young
Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR
Deportees were interned in some of the biggest Soviet labour camps of
Gulag system, including ALZhIR camp outside Astana, which was
reserved for the wives of men considered "enemies of the people."
Many moved due to the policy of population transfer in the Soviet
Union and others were forced into involuntary settlements in the
Soviet Union . The Kazakh Soviet Socialist
Republic contributed five
national divisions to the Soviet Union\'s World War II effort. In
1947, two years after the end of the war, the USSR founded its
Semipalatinsk Test Site , the main national nuclear-weapon test-site ,
near the city of
World War II led to an increase in industrialisation and mineral
extraction in support of the war effort. At the time of Soviet leader
Joseph Stalin 's death in 1953, however,
Kazakhstan still had an
overwhelmingly agriculturally based economy. In 1953, Soviet leader
Nikita Khrushchev initiated the ambitious "
Virgin Lands " program to
turn the traditional pasture-lands of
Kazakhstan into a major
grain-producing region for the Soviet Union. The
Virgin Lands policy
brought mixed results. However, along with later modernisations under
Leonid Brezhnev (in power 1964–1982), it accelerated
the development of the agricultural sector, which remains the source
of livelihood for a large percentage of Kazakhstan's population.
Because of the decades of privation, war and resettlement, by 1959 the
Kazakh had become a minority in the country, making up 30% of the
Russians accounted for 43%.
In the late 20th century, growing tensions within
Soviet society led
to an appetite for political and economic reforms, which came to a
head in the 1980s. A factor that contributed strongly to this was
Lavrentii Beria 's decision to test a nuclear bomb on the territory of
Kazakh SSR in
Semey in 1949. This had catastrophic ecological and
biological consequences that were felt generations later, and Kazakh
anger toward the Soviet system escalated. The Monument of
Republic Square, Almaty.
In December 1986 mass demonstrations by young ethnic Kazakhs, later
Jeltoqsan riot, took place in
Almaty to protest the
replacement of the First Secretary of the
Communist Party of the
Dinmukhamed Konayev with
Gennady Kolbin from the Russian
SFSR . Governmental troops suppressed the unrest, several people were
killed, and many demonstrators were jailed. In the waning days of
Soviet rule, discontent continued to grow and found expression under
Mikhail Gorbachev 's policy of glasnost .
On 25 October 1990,
Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty on its
territory as a republic within the Soviet Union. Following the August
1991 aborted coup attempt in Moscow,
Kazakhstan declared independence
on 16 December 1991, thus becoming the last Soviet republic to declare
independence. Ten days later, the
Soviet Union itself ceased to exist
Kazakhstan's communist-era leader,
Nursultan Nazarbayev , became the
country's first President. Nazarbayev ruled in an authoritarian
manner, which many believed was needed in the first years of
independence. Emphasis was on converting the country's economy to a
market economy while political reforms lagged behind achievements in
the economy. By 2006,
Kazakhstan generated 60% of the GDP of Central
Asia, primarily through its oil industry.
The government moved the capital in 1997, from
Almaty , Kazakhstan's
largest city, where it had been established under the Soviet Union, to
Geography of Kazakhstan
Geography of Kazakhstan and List of cities in
Canyon in northern
As it extends across both sides of the
Ural River , considered the
dividing line with the European continent,
Kazakhstan is one of only
two landlocked countries in the world that has territory in two
continents (the other is
With an area of 2,700,000 square kilometres (1,000,000 sq mi) –
equivalent in size to
Western Europe –
Kazakhstan is the
ninth-largest country and largest landlocked country in the world.
While it was part of the
Soviet Union ,
Kazakhstan lost some of its
territory to China's
Xinjiang autonomous region and some to
Karakalpakstan autonomous republic.
It shares borders of 6,846 kilometres (4,254 mi) with Russia, 2,203
kilometres (1,369 mi) with
Uzbekistan , 1,533 kilometres (953 mi) with
China, 1,051 kilometres (653 mi) with
Kyrgyzstan , and 379 kilometres
(235 mi) with
Turkmenistan . Major cities include
Atyrau , and
Oskemen . It lies between
latitudes 40° and 56° N , and longitudes 46° and 88° E . While
located primarily in Asia, a small portion of
Kazakhstan is also
located west of the
Urals in Eastern Europe.
Kazakhstan's terrain extends west to east from the
Caspian Sea to the
Altay Mountains and north to south from the plains of Western Siberia
to the oases and deserts of
Central Asia . The Kazakh
with an area of around 804,500 square kilometres (310,600 sq mi),
occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest dry
steppe region. The steppe is characterised by large areas of
grasslands and sandy regions. Major seas, lakes and rivers include the
Aral Sea ,
Lake Balkhash and
Lake Zaysan , the Charyn River and gorge
and the Ili , Irtysh , Ishim , Ural and
Syr Darya rivers. In the
Canyon is 80 kilometres (50 mi) long, cutting through a
red sandstone plateau and stretching along the Charyn River gorge in
Tian Shan ("Heavenly Mountains", 200 km (124 mi) east of
Almaty) at 43°21′1.16″N 79°4′49.28″E / 43.3503222°N
79.0803556°E / 43.3503222; 79.0803556 . The steep canyon slopes,
columns and arches rise to heights of between 150 and 300 metres (490
and 980 feet). The inaccessibility of the canyon provided a safe haven
for a rare ash tree , Fraxinus sogdiana, that survived the
Ice Age and
is now also grown in some other areas.
Bigach crater , at 48°30′N
82°00′E / 48.500°N 82.000°E / 48.500; 82.000 , is a
Miocene asteroid impact crater , 8 km (5 mi) in diameter
and estimated to be 5±3 million years old.
Kazakhstan map of Köppen climate classification.
Kazakhstan has an 'extreme' continental climate , with warm summers
and very cold winters. Indeed,
Astana is the second coldest capital
city in the world after
Ulaanbaatar . Precipitation varies between
arid and semi-arid conditions, the winter being particularly dry.
Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for large cities in
Wildlife of Kazakhstan
Wildlife of Kazakhstan
There are ten nature reserves and ten national parks in Kazakhstan
that provide safe haven for many rare and endangered plants and
animals. Common plants are
Oxytropis ; endangered plant species include native wild apple (Malus
sieversii ), wild grape (
Vitis vinifera ) and several wild tulip
species (e.g. Tulipa greigii ) and rare onion species Allium
karataviense , also
Iris willmottiana and Tulipa kaufmanniana .
Common mammals include the wolf , red fox , corsac fox , moose ,
argali (the largest species of sheep),
Eurasian lynx , Pallas\'s cat ,
and snow leopards , several of which are protected. Kazakhstan’s Red
Book of Protected Species lists 125 vertebrates including many birds
and mammals, and 404 plants including fungi, algae and lichen.
Regions of Kazakhstan and
Districts of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is divided into fourteen regions (Kazakh :
облыстар, oblıstar; Russian : области, oblasti). The
regions are subdivided into 177 districts (Kazakh : аудандар,
awdandar; Russian : районы, rayony). The districts are further
subdivided into rural districts at the lowest level of administration,
which include all rural settlements and villages without an associated
The cities of
Astana have status "state importance" and do
not belong to any region. The city of
Baikonur has a special status
because it is being leased until 2050 to
Russia for the Baikonur
Each region is headed by an akim (regional governor) appointed by the
president. District akims are appointed by regional akims.
Kazakhstan's government relocated its capital from Almaty, established
under the Soviet Union, to
Astana on 10 December 1997.
A clickable map of
Kazakhstan exhibiting its 14
regions.v • d • e
Municipalities exist at each level of administrative division in
Kazakhstan. Cities of republican, regional, and district significance
are desginated as urban inhabited localiies; all others are designated
rural. At the highest level are the cities of
Almaty and Astana,
which are classified as cities of republican significance on the
administrative level equal to that of a region. At the intermediate
level are cities of regional significance on the administrative level
equal to that of district. Cities of these two levels may be divided
into city districts. At the lowest level are cities of district
significance, and over two-thousand villages and rural settlements
(aul) on the administrative level equal to that of rural districts.
Government of Kazakhstan and
Politics of Kazakhstan
Parliament of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is a unitary republic ; its only President to date (2018)
Nursultan Nazarbayev . The President may veto legislation that has
been passed by the Parliament and is also the commander in chief of
the armed forces . The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet of Ministers
and serves as Kazakhstan's head of government. There are three deputy
prime ministers and sixteen ministers in the Cabinet.
Kazakhstan has a bicameral Parliament composed of the
lower house ) and Senate (the upper house ). Single-mandate districts
popularly elect 107 seats in the Majilis; there also are ten members
elected by party-list vote. The Senate has 47 members. Two senators
are selected by each of the elected assemblies (Maslikhats) of
Kazakhstan's sixteen principal administrative divisions (fourteen
regions plus the cities of
Astana and Almaty). The President appoints
the remaining seven senators.
Majilis deputies and the government both
have the right of legislative initiative, though the government
proposes most legislation considered by the Parliament.
Kazakhstan 2030" billboard promoting the president's economic
Elections to the
Majilis in September 2004, yielded a lower house
dominated by the pro-government Otan Party , headed by President
Nazarbayev. Two other parties considered sympathetic to the president,
including the agrarian-industrial bloc AIST and the
Asar Party ,
founded by President Nazarbayev's daughter, won most of the remaining
seats. Opposition parties, which were officially registered and
competed in the elections, won a single seat during elections. The
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was monitoring the
election, which it said fell short of international standards.
Kazakhstan had applied for observer status at the Council of
Europe Parliamentary Assembly . The official response of the Assembly
Kazakhstan could apply for full membership, because it is
partially located in Europe, but that they would not be granted any
status whatsoever at the Council until their democracy and human
rights records improved.
On 4 December 2005,
Nursultan Nazarbayev was re-elected in an
apparent landslide victory. The electoral commission announced that he
had won over 90% of the vote. The Organization for Security and
Europe (OSCE) concluded the election did not meet
international standards despite some improvements in the
administration of the election.
On 17 August 2007, elections to the lower house of parliament were
held and a coalition led by the ruling
Nur-Otan Party, which included
Asar Party , the Civil Party of Kazakhstan, and the Agrarian Party
, won every seat with 88% of the vote. None of the opposition parties
has reached the benchmark 7% level of the seats. Opposition parties
made accusations of serious irregularities in the election.
In 2010, President Nazarbayev rejected a call from supporters to hold
a referendum to keep him in office until 2020. He insisted on
presidential elections for a five-year term. In a vote held on 3 April
2011, President Nazarbayev received 95.54% of the vote with 89.9% of
registered voters participating. In March 2011, Nazarbayev outlined
the progress made toward democracy by Kazakhstan. As of 2010 ,
Kazakhstan was reported on the
Democracy Index by
The Economist as an
authoritarian regime .
On 26 April 2015, the 5th presidential election was held in
Nursultan Nazarbayev was re-elected with 97.7% of votes.
Foreign relations of Kazakhstan
Foreign relations of Kazakhstan President
Nazarbayev with US
Barack Obama and Russian
Dmitry Medvedev in 2012
Kazakhstan is a member of the
United Nations , Organization for
Security and Cooperation in
Europe , Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). It is an active
participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Partnership for
On 11 April 2010, Presidents Nazarbayev and Obama met at the Nuclear
Security Summit in Washington, D.C., and discussed strengthening the
strategic partnership between the
United States and Kazakhstan. They
pledged to intensify bilateral co-operation to promote nuclear safety
and non-proliferation, regional stability in Central Asia, economic
prosperity, and universal values.
In April 2011, President Obama called President Nazarbayev and
discussed many cooperative efforts regarding nuclear security,
including securing nuclear material from the BN-350 reactor. They
reviewed progress on meeting goals that the two presidents established
during their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010.
Kazakhstan is also a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States
Economic Cooperation Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization . The nations of Kazakhstan, Russia,
Belarus , Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan established the
Eurasian Economic Community in 2000, to
revive earlier efforts to harmonise trade tariffs and to create a free
trade zone under a customs union. On 1 December 2007, it was announced
Kazakhstan had been chosen to chair the Organization for Security
and Co-operation in
Europe for the year 2010.
Kazakhstan was elected a
member of the
UN Human Rights Council for the first time on 12
Since independence in 1991,
Kazakhstan has pursued what is known as
the "multivector foreign policy" (Kazakh : көпвекторлы
сыртқы саясат), seeking equally good relations with its
two large neighbours,
China as well as with the United
States and the rest of the
Western world .
Russia currently leases
approximately 6,000 square kilometres (2,317 sq mi) of territory
Baikonur Cosmodrome space launch site in south central
Kazakhstan, where the first man was launched into space as well as
Soviet space shuttle Buran and the well-known space station
Nursultan Nazarbayev attends the
Caspian Sea Summit in
Russia, September 2014
Since 2014 the Kazakhstani government has been bidding for a
non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council for 2017–2018.
On 28 June 2016
Kazakhstan was elected as a non-permanent member to
serve on the UN Security Council for a two-year term.
Kazakhstan actively supports UN peacekeeping missions in Haiti, the
Western Sahara, and Côte d'Ivoire. In March 2014, the Ministry of
Defense chose 20 Kazakhstani military men as observers for the UN
peacekeeping missions. The military personnel, ranking from captain to
colonel, had to go through a specialised UN training; they had to be
fluent in English and skilled in using specialised military vehicles.
Ukraine humanitarian aid during the conflict
with Russian-backed rebels. In October 2014,
$30,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross's humanitarian
effort in Ukraine. In January 2015, to help the humanitarian crisis,
Kazakhstan sent $400,000 of aid to Ukraine\'s southeastern regions .
President Nazarbayev said of the war in Ukraine, "The fratricidal war
has brought true devastation to eastern Ukraine, and it is a common
task to stop the war there, strengthen Ukraine’s independence and
secure territorial integrity of Ukraine." Experts believe that no
matter how the
Ukraine crisis develops, Kazakhstan’s relations with
the European Union will remain normal. It is believed that
Nazarbayev’s mediation is positively received by both
Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on 26
January 2015: "We are firmly convinced that there is no alternative to
peace negotiations as a way to resolve the crisis in the south-eastern
Main article: Armed Forces of the
Kazakhstan Republican Guard
Most of Kazakhstan's military was inherited from the Soviet Armed
Turkestan Military District . These units became the core of
Kazakhstan's new military. It acquired all the units of the 40th Army
(the former 32nd Army) and part of the 17th Army Corps, including six
land-force divisions, storage bases, the 14th and 35th air-landing
brigades, two rocket brigades, two artillery regiments and a large
amount of equipment which had been withdrawn from over the
the signing of the
Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe .
Since the late 20th century, the
Kazakhstan Army has focused on
expanding the number of its armoured units. Since 1990, armoured units
have expanded from 500 to 1,613 in 2005.
The Kazakh air force is composed mostly of Soviet-era planes,
including 41 MiG-29s , 44 MiG-31s , 37 Su-24s and 60 Su-27s . A small
naval force is maintained on the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan sent 49 military engineers to
Iraq to assist the US
post-invasion mission in
Iraq . During the second
Kazakhstani troops dismantled 4 million mines and other explosives,
helped provide medical care to more than 5,000 coalition members and
civilians, and purified 718 cubic metres (25,356 cu ft) of water.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (UQK) was established on 13
June 1992. It includes the Service of Internal Security, Military
Counterintelligence, Border Guard, several Commando units, and Foreign
Intelligence (Barlau). The latter is considered as the most important
part of KNB. Its director is
Nurtai Abykayev .
Since 2002 the joint tactical peacekeeping exercise "
has been hosted by the
Kazakhstan government. "
Steppe Eagle" focuses
on building coalitions and gives participating nations the opportunity
to work together. During the
Steppe Eagle exercises, the Kazbat
peacekeeping battalion operates within a multinational force under a
unified command within multidisciplinary peacekeeping operations, with
NATO and the US Military.
In December 2013,
Kazakhstan announced it will send officers to
United Nations Peacekeeping forces in Haiti, Western Sahara,
Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Human rights in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan's human rights situation is described as poor by
independent observers. The 2015
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch report on
Kazakhstan said that the country "heavily restricts freedom of
assembly, speech, and religion. In 2014, authorities closed
newspapers, jailed or fined dozens of people after peaceful but
unsanctioned protests, and fined or detained worshipers for practicing
religion outside state controls. Government critics, including
opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov , remained in detention after unfair
trials. In mid-2014,
Kazakhstan adopted new criminal, criminal
executive, criminal procedural, and administrative codes, and a new
law on trade unions, which contain articles restricting fundamental
freedoms and are incompatible with international standards. Torture
remains common in places of detention." The 2016 Human Rights Watch
report commented that
Kazakhstan "took few meaningful steps to tackle
a worsening human rights record in 2015, maintaining a focus on
economic development over political reform."
According to a US government report released in 2014, in Kazakhstan:
"The law does not require police to inform detainees that they have
the right to an attorney, and police did not do so. Human rights
observers alleged that law enforcement officials dissuaded detainees
from seeing an attorney, gathered evidence through preliminary
questioning before a detainee’s attorney arrived, and in some cases
used corrupt defence attorneys to gather evidence.
"The law does not adequately provide for an independent judiciary.
The executive branch sharply limited judicial independence.
Prosecutors enjoyed a quasi-judicial role and had the authority to
suspend court decisions. Corruption was evident at every stage of the
judicial process. Although judges were among the most highly paid
government employees, lawyers and human rights monitors alleged that
judges, prosecutors, and other officials solicited bribes in exchange
for favorable rulings in the majority of criminal cases."
Kazakhstan's global rank in the
World Justice Project
World Justice Project 's 2015 Rule of
Law Index was 65 out of 102; the country scored well on "Order and
Security" (global rank 32/102), and poorly on "Constraints on
Government Powers" (global rank 93/102), "Open Government" (85/102)
and "Fundamental Rights" (84/102, with a downward trend marking a
deterioration in conditions).
ABA Rule of Law Initiative of the American Bar Association has
programs to train justice sector professionals in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court has taken recent steps to modernise and
to increase transparency and oversight over the country’s legal
system. With funding from the US Agency for International Development,
ABA Rule of Law Initiative began a new program in April 2012 to
strengthen the independence and accountability of Kazakhstan’s
In an effort to increase transparency in the criminal justice and
court system, and improve human rights,
Kazakhstan intends to digitize
all investigative, prosecutorial and court records by 2018.
Economy of Kazakhstan
Economy of Kazakhstan A proportional
representation of Kazakhstan's exports.
Baikonur Cosmodrome is
the world's oldest and largest operational space launch facility .
Kazakhstan has the largest and strongest performing economy in
Central Asia. Supported by rising oil output and prices,
Kazakhstan’s economy grew at an average of 8% per year until 2013,
before suffering a slowdown in 2014 and 2015
Kazakhstan was the first
Republic to repay all of its debt to the International
Monetary Fund, 7 years ahead of schedule.
Buoyed by high world crude oil prices, GDP growth figures were
between 8.9% and 13.5% from 2000 to 2007 before decreasing to 1–3%
in 2008 and 2009, and then rising again from 2010. Other major
Kazakhstan include wheat, textiles, and livestock.
Kazakhstan is a leading exporter of uranium.
Kazakhstan’s economy grew by 4.6% in 2014. The country experienced
a slowdown in economic growth from 2014 sparked by falling oil prices
and the effects of the
Ukrainian crisis The country devalued its
currency by 19% in February 2014. Another 22% devaluation occurred in
Kazakhstan’s fiscal situation is stable. The government has
continued to follow a conservative fiscal policy by controlling budget
spending and accumulating oil revenue savings in its Oil Fund –
Samruk-Kazyna. The global financial crisis forced
increase its public borrowing to support the economy. Public debt
increased to 13.4 per cent in 2013 from 8.7 per cent in 2008. Between
2012 and 2013, the government achieved an overall fiscal surplus of
4.5 per cent.
Kazakhstan has sought to manage strong inflows of foreign
currency without sparking inflation. Inflation has not been under
strict control, however, registering 6.6% in 2002, 6.8% in 2003, and
6.4% in 2004.
In March 2002, the
US Department of Commerce granted Kazakhstan
market economy status under US trade law . This change in status
recognised substantive market economy reforms in the areas of currency
convertibility, wage rate determination, openness to foreign
investment, and government control over the means of production and
allocation of resources.
Kazakhstan weathered the global financial crisis well, by combining
fiscal relaxation with monetary stabilisation. In 2009, the government
introduced large-scale support measures such as the recapitalisation
of banks and support for the real estate and agricultural sectors, as
well as for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The total value of
the stimulus programs amounted to $21 billion, or 20 per cent of the
country’s GDP, with $4 billion going to stabilise the financial
sector. During the global economic crisis, Kazakhstan’s economy
contracted by 1.2% in 2009, while the annual growth rate subsequently
increased to 7.5% and 5% in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
In September 2002,
Kazakhstan became the first country in the CIS to
receive an investment grade credit rating from a major international
credit rating agency . As of late December 2003, Kazakhstan's gross
foreign debt was about $22.9 billion. Total governmental debt was $4.2
billion, 14% of GDP. There has been a reduction in the ratio of debt
to GDP. The ratio of total governmental debt to GDP in 2000, was
21.7%; in 2001, it was 17.5%, and in 2002, it was 15.4%.
Economic growth , combined with earlier tax and financial sector
reforms, has dramatically improved government finance from the 1999
budget deficit level of 3.5% of GDP to a deficit of 1.2% of GDP in
2003. Government revenues grew from 19.8% of GDP in 1999 to 22.6% of
GDP in 2001, but decreased to 16.2% of GDP in 2003. In 2000,
Kazakhstan adopted a new tax code in an effort to consolidate these
gains. Kazakhstan's capital,
On 29 November 2003, the Law on Changes to Tax Code which reduced tax
rates was adopted. The value added tax fell from 16% to 15%, the
social tax, from 21% to 20%, and the personal income tax , from 30% to
20%. On 7 July 2006, the personal income tax was reduced even further
to a flat rate of 5% for personal income in the form of dividends and
10% for other personal income.
Kazakhstan furthered its reforms by
adopting a new land code on 20 June 2003, and a new customs code on 5
Energy is the leading economic sector. Production of crude oil and
natural gas condensate from the oil and gas basins of Kazakhstan
amounted to 79.2 million tonnes (77.9 million long tons ) in 2012 up
from 51.2 million tonnes (50.4 million long tons) in 2003. Kazakhstan
raised oil and gas condensate exports to 44.3 million tons in 2003,
13% higher than in 2002. Gas production in
Kazakhstan in 2003,
amounted to 13.9 billion cubic metres (490 billion cubic feet ), up
22.7% compared to 2002, including natural gas production of 7.3
billion cubic metres (260 billion cubic feet).
Kazakhstan holds about
4 billion tonnes (3.9 billion long tons) of proven recoverable oil
reserves and 2,000 cubic kilometres (480 cubic miles ) of gas.
According to industry analysts, expansion of oil production and the
development of new fields will enable the country to produce as much
as 3 million barrels (480,000 m3) per day by 2015, and Kazakhstan
would be among the top 10 oil-producing nations in the world.
Kazakhstan's oil exports in 2003, were valued at more than $7 billion,
representing 65% of overall exports and 24% of the GDP. Major oil and
gas fields and recoverable oil reserves are Tengiz with 7 billion
barrels (1.1 billion cubic metres); Karachaganak with 8 billion
barrels (1.3 billion cubic metres) and 1,350 cubic kilometres (320
cubic miles) of natural gas; and Kashagan with 7 to 9 billion barrels
(1.4 billion cubic metres).
Aktau is Kazakhstan's only seaport on
Kazakhstan instituted an ambitious pension reform program in 1998. As
of 1 January 2012, the pension assets were about $17 billion (KZT 2.5
trillion). There are 11 saving pension funds in the country. The State
Pension Fund, the only state-owned fund, was privatised
in 2006. The country's unified financial regulatory agency oversees
and regulates the pension funds. The growing demand of the pension
funds for quality investment outlets triggered rapid development of
the debt securities market.
Pension fund capital is being invested
almost exclusively in corporate and government bonds , including
Kazakhstan Eurobonds. The government of
studying a project to create a unified national pension fund and
transfer all the accounts from the private pension funds into it.
The banking system of
Kazakhstan is developing rapidly and the
system's capitalisation now exceeds $1 billion. The National Bank has
introduced deposit insurance in its campaign to strengthen the banking
sector. Due to troubling and non-performing bad assets the bank sector
yet is at risk to lose stability. Several major foreign banks have
branches in Kazakhstan, including RBS ,
Citibank , and
HSBC . Kookmin
UniCredit have both recently entered the Kazakhstan's financial
services market through acquisitions and stake -building.
According to the 2010–11
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum in Global
Kazakhstan was ranked 72nd in the world in
economic competitiveness. One year later, the Global Competitiveness
Kazakhstan 50th in most competitive markets.
Kazakhstan attracted $14 billion of foreign direct
investment inflows into the country at a 7% growth rate making it the
most attractive place to invest out of CIS nations.
During the first half of 2013, Kazakhstan's fixed investment
increased 7.1% compared to the same period in 2012 totalling 2.8
trillion tenge ($18 billion US dollars).
Aftenposten quoted the human-rights activist and lawyer
Denis Jivaga as saying that there is an "oil fund in Kazakhstan, but
nobody knows how the income is spent".
Kazakhstan’s economy grew at an average of 8% per year over the
past decade on the back of hydrocarbon exports. Despite the lingering
uncertainty of the global economy, Kazakhstan’s economy has been
stable. GDP growth in January–September 2013 was 5.7%, according to
preliminary calculations of the Ministry Economy and Budget Planning.
From January to September 2014 Kazakhstan's GDP grew at 4%.
According to the results from the first half of the year, the current
account surplus is $6.6 billion, a figure two times higher than that
of the first half of 2013. According to the Chairman of the National
Bank of Kazakhstan, Kairat Kelimbetov, the increase was caused by a
trade surplus of 17.4 percent, or approximately USD 22.6 billion. The
overall inflation rate for 2014 is forecasted at 7.4 percent.
Agriculture in Kazakhstan
Agriculture accounts for approximately 5% of Kazakhstan's GDP. Grain
, potatoes, vegetables, melons and livestock are the most important
agricultural commodities. Agricultural land occupies more than 846,000
square kilometres (327,000 sq mi). The available agricultural land
consists of 205,000 square kilometres (79,000 sq mi) of arable land
and 611,000 square kilometres (236,000 sq mi) of pasture and hay land.
Over 80% of the country’s total area is classified as agricultural
land, including almost 70% occupied by pasture. Its arable land has
the second highest availability per inhabitant (1.5 hectares).
Chief livestock products are dairy products , leather , meat , and
wool . The country's major crops include wheat , barley , cotton , and
Wheat exports , a major source of hard currency , rank among
the leading commodities in Kazakhstan's export trade. In 2003
Kazakhstan harvested 17.6 million tons of grain in gross, 2.8% higher
compared to 2002. Kazakhstani agriculture still has many environmental
problems from mismanagement during its years in the Soviet Union. Some
Kazakh wine is produced in the mountains to the east of Almaty.
Kazakhstan is thought to be one of the places that the apple
originated, particularly the wild ancestor of Malus domestica, Malus
sieversii . It has no common name in English, but is known in its
Kazakhstan as alma. The region where it is thought to originate
is called Almaty: "rich with apple". This tree is still found wild in
the mountains of
Central Asia , in southern Kazakhstan,
Xinjiang in China.
Energy policy of
Kazakhstan Headquarters of
KazMunayGaz , Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company
Kazakhstan has an abundant supply of accessible mineral and fossil
fuel resources. Development of petroleum , natural gas , and mineral
extractions, has attracted most of the over $40 billion in foreign
Kazakhstan since 1993 and accounts for some 57% of the
nation's industrial output (or approximately 13% of gross domestic
product). According to some estimates,
Kazakhstan has the second
largest uranium , chromium , lead , and zinc reserves, the third
largest manganese reserves, the fifth largest copper reserves, and
ranks in the top ten for coal , iron , and gold . It is also an
exporter of diamonds . Perhaps most significant for economic
Kazakhstan also currently has the 11th largest proven
reserves of both petroleum and natural gas.
In total, there are 160 deposits with over 2.7 billion tonnes (2.7
billion long tons) of petroleum. Oil explorations have shown that the
deposits on the Caspian shore are only a small part of a much larger
deposit. It is said that 3.5 billion tonnes (3.4 billion long tons) of
oil and 2.5 billion cubic metres (88 billion cubic feet) of gas could
be found in that area. Overall the estimate of Kazakhstan's oil
deposits is 6.1 billion tonnes (6.0 billion long tons). However, there
are only 3 refineries within the country, situated in
Pavlodar , and
Shymkent . These are not capable of processing the
total crude output so much of it is exported to Russia. According to
Energy Information Administration
Kazakhstan was producing
approximately 1,540,000 barrels (245,000 m3) of oil per day in 2009.
Kazakhstan also possesses large deposits of phosphorite. One of the
largest known being the Karatau basin with 650 million tonnes of P2O5
and Chilisai deposit of Aktyubinsk/Aqtobe phosphorite basin located in
north western Kazakhstan, with a resource of 500–800 million tonnes
of 9% ore.
On 17 October 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Kazakhstan as "EITI Compliant", meaning that the
country has a basic and functional process to ensure the regular
disclosure of natural resource revenues.
Tourism in Kazakhstan
Tourism in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan's tourism industry is underdeveloped. International
arrivals rose from 1.47 million in 2000 to 4.81 million in 2012.
Among the main tourist attractions are five World Heritage Sites as
well as thirteen sites that are on the tentative list.
Siberia Railway line connects
Central Asia with
Siberia Main article:
Transport in Kazakhstan
Most cities are connected by railroad; high-speed trains go from
Almaty (the southernmost city) to
Petropavl (the northernmost city) in
about 18 hours.
In 2009 the
European Commission blacklisted all Kazakh air carriers
with a sole exception of Air
Astana . Since then,
consistently taken measures to modernize and revamp its air safety
oversight. In 2016 the European air safety authorities removed all
Kazakh airlines from the blacklist and there was “sufficient
evidence of compliance” with international standards by Kazakh
Airlines and the Civil Aviation Committee.
The banking industry of the
Kazakhstan experienced a
pronounced boom and bust cycle over 2000s decade. After several years
of rapid expansion in the mid-2000s, the banking industry collapsed in
2008. Several large banking groups, including
BTA Bank J.S.C. and
Alliance Bank, defaulted soon after. Since then, the industry has
shrunk and been restructured, with system-wide loans dropping to 39%
of GDP in 2011 from 59% in 2007. Although the Russian and Kazakhstani
banking systems share several common features, there are also some
fundamental differences. Banks in
Kazakhstan have experienced a
lengthy period of political stability and economic growth. Together
with a rational approach to banking and finance policy, this has
helped push Kazakhstan’s banking system to a higher level of
development. Banking technology and personnel qualifications alike are
Kazakhstan than in Russia. On the negative side, past
Kazakhstan arose from the concentration of virtually all
political power in the hands of a single individual – the key factor
in any assessment of system or country risk. The potential is there
for serious disturbances if and when authority passes into new hands.
The government has set the goals that a transition to the Green
Kazakhstan occur by 2050. The green economy is projected to
increase GDP by 3% and create more than 500,000 new jobs.
The government of
Kazakhstan has set prices for energy produced from
renewable sources. The price of 1 kilowatt-hour for energy produced by
wind power plants was set at 22.68 tenge ($0.12). The price for 1
kilowatt-hour produced by small hydro-power plants is 16.71 tenge
($0.09), and from biogas plants 32.23 tenge ($0.18).
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
As of 2014, foreign investors had placed a total of $211.5 billion in
Kazakhstan. According to the US State Department,
widely considered to have the best investment climate in the region.
In 2002 the country became the first sovereign in the former Soviet
Union to receive an investment-grade credit rating from an
international credit rating agency.
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment (FDI)
plays a more significant role in the national economy than in most
other former Soviet republics.
President Nazarbayev signed into law tax concessions to promote
foreign direct investment which include a 10-year exemption from
corporation tax, an 8-year exemption from property tax, and a 10-year
freeze on most other taxes. Other incentives include a refund on
capital investments of up to 30 percent once a production facility is
Suma Chakrabarti , the President of the European Bank of
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), co-chaired the Kazakhstan
Foreign Investors’ Council with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In
May 2014, the EBRD and government of
Kazakhstan created the
Partnership for Re-Energizing the Reform Process in
Kazakhstan to work
with international financial institutions to channel US$2.7 billion
provided by the Kazakh government into important sectors of
Kazakhstan’s economy. The partnership will boost investment and
drive forward reforms in the country.
As of May 2014,
Kazakhstan attracted $190 billion in gross foreign
investments since its independence in 1991 and it leads the CIS
countries in terms of FDI attracted per capita. One of the factors
that attract foreign direct investments is country's political
stability. According to the World Bank's report,
Kazakhstan is among
the top 40% of countries in the world that are considered the most
politically stable and free of violence.
Kazakhstan also received high ratings in a survey conducted by Ernst
The housing market of
Kazakhstan has grown since 2010. In 2013, the
total housing area in
Kazakhstan amounted to 336.1 million square
metres (3,618 million square feet). The housing stock rose over the
year to 32.7 million squares , which is nearly an 11% increase.
Between 2012 and 2013, the living area per Kazakh citizen rose from
19.6 to 20.9 square metres (211 to 225 square feet). The urban areas
concentrate 62.5 percent of the country’s housing stock. The UN’s
recommended standard for housing stands at 30 square metres (320
square feet) per person.
Kazakhstan will be able to reach the UN
standards by 2019 or 2020, if in the medium term the housing growth
rate remains within 7 percent.
"NURLY ZHOL" ECONOMIC POLICY
On 11 November 2014,
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
delivered an unexpected state-of-the-nation address in
Astana at an
extended session of the Political Council of the Nur Otan party,
introducing a "Nurly Zhol" (Bright Path), a new economic policy that
implies massive state investment in infrastructure over the next
several years. The "Nurly Zhol" policy is accepted as preventive
measures needed to help steer the economy towards sustainable growth
in the context of the modern global economic and geopolitical
challenges, such as the 25%-reduction in the oil price, reciprocal
sanctions between the West and
Russia over Ukraine, etc. The policy
embraces all aspects of economic growth, including finances, industry
and social welfare, but especially emphasises investments into the
development of infrastructure and construction works. Given recent
decreases in revenues from the export of raw materials, funds will be
used from Kazakhstan’s National Fund.
In 2005, the
World Bank listed
Kazakhstan as a corruption hotspot, on
a par with
Pakistan . In 2012,
Kazakhstan ranked low in an index of the least corrupt countries and
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum listed corruption as the biggest problem in
doing business in the country. An 2017
OECD report on Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has reformed laws with regard to the civil
service, judiciary, instruments to prevent corruption, access to
information, and prosecuting corruption.
Switzerland confiscated US$48 million in Kazakhstani assets
from Swiss bank accounts, as a result of a bribery investigation in
the United States. US officials believed the funds represented bribes
paid by American officials to Kazakhstani officials in exchange for
oil or prospecting rights in Kazakhstan. Proceedings eventually
involved US$84 million in the USA and another US$60 million in
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kazakh Anti-Corruption
Agency signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in February 2015.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Science and technology in Kazakhstan Trends in
research expenditure in Central Asia, as a percentage of GDP,
UNESCO Science Report: 2030 (2015), Figure 14.3
Research remains largely concentrated in Kazakhstan's largest city
and former capital, Almaty, home to 52% of research personnel. Public
research is largely confined to institutes, with universities making
only a token contribution. Research institutes receive their funding
from national research councils under the umbrella of the Ministry of
Education and Science. Their output, however, tends to be disconnected
from market needs. In the business sector, few industrial enterprises
conduct research themselves.
One of the most ambitious targets of the State Programme for
Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development adopted in 2010 is
to raise the country’s level of expenditure on research and
development to 1% of GDP by 2015. By 2013, this ratio stood at 0.18%
of GDP. It will be difficult to reach the target as long as economic
growth remains strong. Since 2005, the economy has grown faster (by 6%
in 2013) than gross domestic expenditure on research and development,
which only progressed from PPP$598 million to PPP$714 million between
2005 and 2013.
Innovation expenditure more than doubled in
Kazakhstan between 2010
and 2011, representing KZT 235 billion (circa US$1.6 billion), or
around 1.1% of GDP. Some 11% of the total was spent on research and
development. This compares with about 40–70% of innovation
expenditure in developed countries. This augmentation was due to a
sharp rise in product design and the introduction of new services and
production methods over this period, to the detriment of the
acquisition of machinery and equipment, which has traditionally made
up the bulk of Kazakhstan’s innovation expenditure. Training costs
represented just 2% of innovation expenditure, a much lower share than
in developed countries.
In December 2012, President
Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the
Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy with the slogan ‘Strong Business, Strong
State.’ This pragmatic strategy proposes sweeping socio-economic and
political reforms to hoist
Kazakhstan among the top 30 economies by
2050. In this document,
Kazakhstan gives itself 15 years to evolve
into a knowledge economy. New sectors are to be created during each
five-year plan. The first of these, covering the years 2010–2014,
focused on developing industrial capacity in car manufacturing,
aircraft engineering and the production of locomotives, passenger and
cargo railroad cars. During the second five-year plan to 2019, the
goal is to develop export markets for these products. To enable
Kazakhstan to enter the world market of geological exploration, the
country intends to increase the efficiency of traditional extractive
sectors such as oil and gas. It also intends to develop rare earth
metals, given their importance for electronics, laser technology,
communication and medical equipment. The second five-year plan
coincides with the development of the Business 2020 roadmap for small
and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which makes provision for the
allocation of grants to SMEs in the regions and for microcredit. The
government and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs also plan to
develop an effective mechanism to help start-ups.
During subsequent five-year plans to 2050, new industries will be
established in fields such as mobile, multi-media, nano- and space
technologies, robotics, genetic engineering and alternative energy.
Food processing enterprises will be developed with an eye to turning
the country into a major regional exporter of beef, dairy and other
agricultural products. Low-return, water-intensive crop varieties will
be replaced with vegetable, oil and fodder products. As part of the
shift to a ‘green economy’ by 2030, 15% of acreage will be
cultivated with water-saving technologies. Experimental agrarian and
innovational clusters will be established and drought-resistant
genetically modified crops developed.
Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy fixes a target of devoting 3% of GDP to
research and development by 2050 to allow for the development of new
Demographics of Kazakhstan
Population pyramid ,
2014 Central Asian ethnolinguistic patchwork, 1992
Kazakhstanis on a
Lake Jasybay beach,
US Census Bureau
US Census Bureau International Database lists the current
Kazakhstan as 15,460,484, while
United Nations sources
such as the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects give an
estimate of 17,987,736. Official estimates put the population of
Kazakhstan at 16.455 million as of February 2011, of which 46% is
rural and 54% is urban. In 2013, Kazakhstan's population rose to
17,280,000 with a 1.7% growth rate over the past year according to the
Kazakhstan Statistics Agency.
The 2009 population estimate is 6.8% higher than the population
reported in the last census from January 1999. The decline in
population that began after 1989 has been arrested and possibly
reversed. Men and women make up 48.3% and 51.7% of the population,
Ethnic demography of Kazakhstan
Ethnic demography of Kazakhstan
Kazakhs are 63.1% of the population and ethnic
Kazakhstan are 23.7%. Other groups include
Tatars (1.3%), Ukrainians
Poles , and
Lithuanians . Some minorities such as
Meskhetian Turks , and Russian
political opponents of the regime had been deported to
the 1930s and 1940s by Stalin. Some of the largest Soviet labour camps
Gulag ) existed in the country.
Significant Russian immigration also connected with Virgin Lands
Soviet space program during the Khrushchev era. In 1989,
Russians were 37.8% of the population and
Kazakhs held a
majority in only 7 of the 20 regions of the country. Before 1991 there
were about 1 million
Kazakhstan , mostly descendants of the
Germans deported to
Kazakhstan during World War II. After the
break-up of the
Soviet Union , most of them emigrated to Germany.
Most members of the smaller
Pontian Greek minority have emigrated to
Greece. In the late 1930s thousands of
Koreans in the Soviet Union
were deported to
Central Asia . These people are now known as
The 1990s were marked by the emigration of many of the country's
Russians and Volga
Germans , a process that began in the 1970s. This
has made indigenous
Kazakhs the largest ethnic group. Additional
factors in the increase in the Kazakhstani population are higher
birthrates and immigration of ethnic
Kazakhs from China,
POPULATION OF KAZAKHSTAN ACCORDING TO ETHNIC GROUP 1926–2009
group CENSUS 19261
1 Source: 2 Source: 3 Source: 4 Source: 5 Source:
Languages of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is officially a bilingual country. Kazakh , a Turkic
language spoken natively by 64.4% of the population, has the status of
"state" language, whereas Russian , which is spoken by most
Kazakhstanis, is declared an "official" language, and is used
routinely in business, government, and inter-ethnic communication,
although Kazakh is slowly replacing it.
The government announced in January 2015 that the
Latin alphabet will
Cyrillic as the writing system for the
Kazakh language by
2025. Other minority languages spoken in
Kazakhstan include Uzbek ,
Ukrainian , Uyghur , Kyrgyz , and Tatar . English, as well as Turkish,
have gained popularity among younger people since the collapse of the
Soviet Union. Education across
Kazakhstan is conducted in either
Kazakh, Russian, or both.
Largest cities or towns in Kazakhstan
Religion in Kazakhstan
RELIGION IN KAZAKHSTAN, 2010
Khazret Sultan Mosque is the biggest mosque in
Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest religion in Kazakhstan.
According to the 2009 Census, 70% of the population is Muslim , 26%
Christian , 0.1% Buddhist , 0.2% others (mostly Jewish ), and 3%
irreligious , while 0.5% chose not to answer. According to its
Kazakhstan is a secular state.
Religious freedoms are guaranteed by Article 39 of Kazakhstan's
Constitution. Article 39 states: "
Human rights and freedoms shall not
be restricted in any way." Article 14 prohibits "discrimination on
religious basis" and Article 19 ensures that everyone has the "right
to determine and indicate or not to indicate his/her ethnic, party and
religious affiliation." The Constitutional Council recently affirmed
these rights by ruling that a proposed law limiting the rights of
certain individuals to practice their religion was declared
Islam is the largest religion in Kazakhstan, followed by Orthodox
Christianity . After decades of religious suppression by the Soviet
Union , the coming of independence witnessed a surge in expression of
ethnic identity, partly through religion. The free practice of
religious beliefs and the establishment of full freedom of religion
led to an increase of religious activity. Hundreds of mosques ,
churches , and other religious structures were built in the span of a
few years, with the number of religious associations rising from 670
in 1990 to 4,170 today.
Some figures show that non-denominational Muslims form the
majority, while others indicate that most Muslims in the country are
Sunnis following the
Hanafi school. These include ethnic
Kazakhs , who
constitute about 60% of the population, as well as ethnic
Uighurs , and
Tatars . Less than 1% are part of the Sunni Shafi`i
Chechens ). There are also some Ahmadi Muslims.
There are a total of 2,300 mosques, all of them are affiliated with
the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a
supreme mufti . Unaffiliated mosques are forcefully closed. Eid
al-Adha is recognised as a national holiday.
One quarter of the population is Russian Orthodox, including ethnic
Ukrainians and Belorussians. Other Christian groups include
Roman Catholics and Protestants . There are a total of 258 Orthodox
churches, 93 Catholic churches, and over 500 Protestant churches and
prayer houses. The Russian Orthodox
Christmas is recognized as a
national holiday in Kazakhstan. Other religious groups include
Judaism, the Bahá\'í Faith ,
Buddhism , and The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints .
According to the 2009 Census data, there are very few Christians
outside the Slavic and Germanic ethnic groups:
Education in Kazakhstan
Education in Kazakhstan L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian
National University in
Astana is one of Kazakhstan's top universities.
Education is universal and mandatory through to the secondary level
and the adult literacy rate is 99.5%. Education consists of three
main phases: primary education (forms 1–4), basic general education
(forms 5–9) and senior level education (forms 10–11 or 12) divided
into continued general education and vocational education. Vocational
Education usually lasts 3 or 4 years. (
Primary education is preceded
by one year of pre-school education.) These levels can be followed in
one institution or in different ones (e.g., primary school, then
secondary school). Recently, several secondary schools, specialised
schools, magnet schools , gymnasiums , lyceums and linguistic and
technical gymnasiums have been founded. Secondary professional
education is offered in special professional or technical schools ,
lyceums or colleges and vocational schools .
At present, there are universities , academies and institutes ,
conservatories , higher schools and higher colleges. There are three
main levels: basic higher education that provides the fundamentals of
the chosen field of study and leads to the award of the Bachelor\'s
degree ; specialised higher education after which students are awarded
the Specialist's Diploma; and scientific-pedagogical higher education
which leads to the Master\'s Degree .
Postgraduate education leads to
Kandidat Nauk ("Candidate of Sciences") and the Doctor of Sciences
(Ph.D.). With the adoption of the Laws on Education and on Higher
Education, a private sector has been established and several private
institutions have been licensed.
Over 2,500 students in
Kazakhstan have applied for student loans
totalling about $9 million. The largest number of student loans come
Astana and Kyzylorda.
The training and skills development programs in
Kazakhstan are also
supported by international organisations. For example, on 30 March
2015, the World Banks' Group of Executive Directors approved a $100
million loan for the Skills and Job project in Kazakhstan. The
project aims to provide relevant training to unemployed,
unproductively self-employed, and current employees in need of
Culture of Kazakhstan
Culture of Kazakhstan ,
Kazakh clothing , Kazakh
Music of Kazakhstan
Music of Kazakhstan ,
Sport in Kazakhstan
Sport in Kazakhstan , and Kazakh
wedding ceremony Riders in traditional dress demonstrate
Kazakhstan's equestrian culture by playing a kissing game, Kyz kuu
("Chase the Girl"), one of a number of traditional games played on
This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please
help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources .
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message )
Before the Russian colonisation, the
Kazakhs had a highly developed
culture based on their nomadic pastoral economy.
Islam was introduced
into the region with the arrival of the
Arabs in the 8th century. It
initially took hold in the southern parts of
Turkestan and spread
Samanids helped the religion take root through zealous
missionary work. The
Golden Horde further propagated
Islam amongst the
tribes in the region during the 14th century.
Abai Qunanbaiuli ,
Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher
Because livestock was central to the Kazakhs' traditional lifestyle,
most of their nomadic practices and customs relate in some way to
Kazakhs have historically been very passionate about
Kazakhstan is home to a large number of prominent contributors to
literature, science and philosophy:
Abay Qunanbayuli , Mukhtar Auezov
Gabit Musirepov ,
Kanysh Satpayev ,
Mukhtar Shakhanov , Saken
Jambyl Jabayev , among many others.
Tourism is a rapidly growing industry in
Kazakhstan and it is joining
the international tourism networking. In 2010,
Kazakhstan joined The
Region Initiative (TRI) which is a Tri-regional Umbrella of Tourism
related organisations. TRI is functioning as a link between three
regions: South Asia,
Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Armenia,
Bangladesh, India, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Nepal,
Tajikistan, Russia, Sri Lanka,
Ukraine are now Partners and
Kazakhstan is linked with other South Asian, Eastern European and
Central Asian countries in tourism market.
In the national cuisine, livestock meat can be cooked in a variety of
ways and is usually served with a wide assortment of traditional bread
products. Refreshments often include black tea and traditional
milk-derived drinks such as ayran , shubat and kymyz . A traditional
Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetisers on the table,
followed by a soup and one or two main courses such as pilaf and
beshbarmak . They also drink their national beverage, which consists
of fermented mare's milk.
Sport in Kazakhstan
Sport in Kazakhstan Bandy at the 2011 Asian
Winter Games , which
Popular sports in
Kazakhstan include figure football, ice hockey,
bandy and boxing. The
2011 Asian Winter Games
2011 Asian Winter Games were held in Kazakhstan.
Cinema of Kazakhstan
Cinema of Kazakhstan International
Kazakhstan's film industry is run through the state-owned Kazakhfilm
studios based in Almaty. The studio has produced award-winning movies
Myn Bala ,
Harmony Lessons , and
Kazakhstan is host of
Astana Action Film Festival and the Eurasia
International Film Festival held annually. Hollywood director Timur
Bekmambetov is from
Kazakhstan and has become active in bridging
Hollywood to the
Kazakhstan film industry.
Kazakhstan journalist Artur Platonov won Best Script for his
documentary "Sold Souls" about Kazakhstan's contribution to the
struggle against terrorism at the 2013 Cannes Corporate Media and TV
Serik Aprymov’s Little Brother (Bauyr) won at the Central and
Europe Film Festival goEast from the German Federal Foreign
Media of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is ranked 161 out of 180 countries on the World Press
Freedom Index , compiled by
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders . A mid-March
2002 court order , with the government as a plaintiff , stated that
Respublika were to stop printing for three months. The order was
evaded by printing under other titles, such as Not That Respublika.
In early 2014, a court also issued a cease publication order to the
small-circulation Assandi-Times newspaper, saying it was a part of the
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch said: "this absurd case displays
the lengths to which Kazakh authorities are willing to go to bully
critical media into silence."
With support from the US Department of State's Bureau for Democracy,
Human Rights and Labor (DRL), the American Bar Association Rule of Law
Initiative opened a media support centre in
Almaty to bolster free
expression and journalistic rights in Kazakhstan.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
Kazakhstan has three cultural and natural heritages on the UNESCO
World Heritage list: the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui ,
Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of
Tamgaly , and the
Korgalzhyn and Nauryzumsky reserves.
New Year\'s Day
Жаңа жыл (Jaña jıl)
Новый Год (Novy God)
(Rojdestvo Xrïstovo / Rozhdestvo Khristovo) from 2007 official
International Women\'s Day
Халықаралық әйелдер күні (Xalıqaralıq
Международный женский день (Mezhdunarodny
Наурыз мейрамы (Nawrız meyramı)
Originally the Persian new year , is traditionally a springtime
holiday marking the beginning of a new year.
Kazakhstan People's Unity Day
Қазақстан халқының бірлігі мерекесі
(Qazaqstan xalqınıñ birligi merekesi)
Defender of the Fatherland Day
Отан Қорғаушы күні (Otan Qorgaushy kuny)
День Защитника Отечества (Den Zashitnika
Otechestva) from 2013 official holiday
Great Patriotic War Against Fascism Victory Day
Жеңіс күні (Jeñis küni)
День Победы (Den Pobedy) A holiday in the former Soviet
Union carried over
Kazakhstan and other former republics (Except Baltic
Capital City Day
Астана күні (
День столицы (Den stolitsy) Birthday of the First
Конституциясы күні (Qazaqstan Respwblikasınıñ
День Конституции Республики
Казахстан (Den Konstitutsiy Respubliki Kazakhstan)
Last day of
In 2013 October 15 Qurban Ayt a
Құрбан айт (Qurban ayt)
Курбан айт (Kurban ayt) from 2007 official holiday.
First President Day
Тұңғыш Президент күні (Tungysh President kuny)
День Первого Президента (Den Pervogo Presidenta)
from 2013 official holiday
Тәуелсіздік күні (Täwelsizdik küni)
День независимости (Den nezavisimosti)
Independence From The
Eid al-Adha , the Islamic "Feast of the Sacrifice".
MEMBERSHIP OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
Kazakhstan's membership of international organisations includes:
Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Individual Partnership Action Plan , with
NATO , Ukraine, Georgia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Turkic Council and the
TÜRKSOY community. (The national language,
Kazakh , is related to the other
Turkic languages , with which it
shares cultural and historical ties .)
UNESCO , where
Kazakhstan is a member of its World Heritage
Nuclear Suppliers Group as a participating government.
World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Central Asia portal
Outline of Kazakhstan
Outline of Kazakhstan
Index of Kazakhstan-related articles
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ˌkæzækˈstæn, kə-/ ( listen )
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