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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 29,749 24,205 22,400 60
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,780 1,510 1,350 119
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Kazakstan


Update No: 353 - (25/05/10)

The Kazakh phenomenon
Kazakhstan is indubitably a remarkable country. It is the size of Western Europe, It has 60% of the FSU's mineral resources - but little to show for it as yet.

But this can all change. It has a modest population, 15 million or so. It is a sort of lock-landed Australia – vast, sparsely populated and yet richly-endowed with resources.

It needs a statesman to lift it out of the trough. Unfortunately it just has a slick politician in charge, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is quite prepared to let his family rip the place off for billions. It is extraordinary, or rather inordinately ordinary, quite how trite post-communist rulers invariably are - self-enrichment is always the name of the game. It is enough to convert the most hardened advocate of capitalism to communism!

Westward - Ho!
Still, Kazakhstan is playing the capitalist game rather well. Its oil output will rise by 4.7 percent this year, coinciding with a rise in its economic growth, Vice Energy Minister Lyazzat Kiinov said May 19. He said gas production would nearly double by 2015 to reach 65 billion cubic metres (bcm), up from 37 bcm last year.

'In 2010 there will be further social and economic growth,' Kiinov said at an oil and gas conference in Paris. He said gross domestic product would increase to between 1.5 to 2 percent in 2010, up from 1.1 percent in 2009.

The resource-rich Central Asian nation returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 after the global economic downturn and a slump in commodity prices sent the economy into a tailspin during the first three quarters.

Referring to the growth of the oil and gas sector, he said he wanted a 'reliable, fast and diverse' export system, but this would be impossible without the participation of neighbouring countries.

Kiinov reiterated that Central Asia's top oil producer, which has announced plans to review some contracts with foreigners, would not target its largest project, Kashagan. 'Investors in the Kashagan field will not have to give a share to the state,' Kiinov said, adding that any state participation in the Caspian offshore field would be based on negotiation.

The most spectacular oil discovery in 40 years
The development of Kashagan, the world's largest oil discovery in 40 years, is covered by one of the contracts known as production sharing agreements (PSAs). It contains at least 15bn barrels of oil.

The field is being developed by ENI, Total, Shell, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil , Inpex and Kazakh state firm KazMunaiGas.

Commercial production at the field is due to start in 2013.

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