Focus on Kazakhstan

February 14, 2012

London Business Matters, issue 59, October 2009.

Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in the world in terms of area. It covers over one million square miles and is rich in natural resources and is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in Central Asia. The country is known for the quantity and diversity of its natural resources, and has the ninth largest oil reserves in the world, the second largest uranium, chromium, lead and zinc reserves, and ranks in the top ten for coal, iron and gold.

Looking beyond its natural resources, Kazakhstan also offers opportunities for SMEs in education, telecommunications, transport and tourism.

It is a vast country with a population density of fewer than six people per square kilometre. The terrain in Kazakhstan is very diverse with flatlands, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains and deserts.

New Tax Incentives

This year, a new tax regime will introduce a gradual decrease in the corporate tax rate from 20 per cent in 2009 to 17.5 per cent in 2010 and 15 per cent in 2011. This makes Kazakhstan, which has signed mutual investment protection agreements with 42 countries, a more
attractive proposition in investment and business terms.

The Heart of Eurasia

Kazakhstan owes its reputation as the Heart of Eurasia to its strategic position between the two economic power-houses of Russia and China. From 2002 – 2008, Kazakhstan experienced the fastest economic growth among Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Poland with a
compounded annual growth rate of 9.2 per cent.

This growth is not only reliant on its vast natural resources, it has also been driven by other sectors of the economy such as transport, communication, trade, financial services, construction, real estate, and business services.

Acccording to figures produced by the World Bank, the business environment in Kazakhstan is more favourable than in its peer group of Russia, Ukraine and China.

Kazakh-British Chamber

The Kazakh-British Chamber of Commerce was launched this summer during the fourth Annual International Kazakhstan Growth Forum in London in the presence of the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, HE Mr Kairat Abusseitov.

Guests at the launch, including business people and industry associations from Kazakhstan and the UK, were welcomed by Dr Roza Kashkenbayeva, President of the Kazakh-British Chamber of Commerce (KBCC), and Artur Krivov, Managing Director of KBCC. KBCC aims to create an environment in which individual business people, corporations and SMEs with an interest in Kazakhstan and the UK can network and benefit from the collective power of members and KBCC resources.

Artur Krivov said “By promoting Kazakhstan to UK businesses and introducing the UK business world to Kazakh businesses we are hoping to foster an environment whereby KBCC drives Kazakh-British business forward by bringing together the entrepreneurial spirit and energy of businesses in the UK and Kazakhstan.”