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    • Overview:
      Kazakhstan, the second largest of the former Soviet states in territory, possesses enormous untapped fossil-fuel reserves as well as plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has considerable agricultural potential with its vast steppe lands accommodating both livestock and grain production. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a relatively large machine building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR and the collapse of demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products have resulted in a sharp contraction of the economy since 1991, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. The government has pursued a moderate program of economic reform and privatization which is gradually lifting state controls over economic activity and shifting assets into the private sector. Nevertheless, government control over key sectors of the economy remains strong. Sustained economic hardships and continued pressures from industrial elites will make it difficult for the government to sustain its policies of monetary and fiscal discipline which had brought down inflation by the end of 1994. Continued lack of pipeline transportation for expanded oil exports has closed off a likely source of economic recovery.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $55.2 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -25% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $3,200 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      24% per month (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      1.1% includes only officially registered unemployed; also large numbers of underemployed workers (1994)

    • Budget:


        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

    • Exports:
      $3.1 billion (1994)

        oil, ferrous and nonferrous metals, chemicals, grain, wool, meat, coal

        Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

    • Imports:
      $3.5 billion (1994)

        machinery and parts, industrial materials, oil and gas

        Russia and other former Soviet republics, China

    • External debt:
      less than $1 billion debt to Russia

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -28% (1994)

    • Electricity:

        17,380,000 kW

        65.1 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        3,750 kWh (1994)

    • Industries:
      accounts for 26% of net national product; extractive industries (oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur), iron and steel, nonferrous metal, tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 20% of GDP; employs about 26% of the labor force; grain, mostly spring wheat; meat, cotton, wool

    • Illicit drugs:
      illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe and North America from Southwest Asia

    • Economic aid:

        approximately $1 billion in foreign loans and credits allocated in 1994; disbursements projected at $700 billion through 1995

    • Currency:
      national currency the tenge introduced on 15 November 1993

    • Exchange rates:
      tenges per US$1 - 54 (yearend 1994)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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Revised 13-August-1997