General information

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The Republic of Kazakhstan is a unitary state with a presidential form of government. According to the Constitution, the country is a democratic, secular, legal and social state whose highest values are an individual, his life, rights and freedom.

Kazakhstan became independent on  December 16th, 1991. The capital of the country is Astana. The state language is Kazakh. Russian has the status of the language of interethnic communication. Currency - tenge.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the head of state, its highest official determining the main directions of domestic and foreign policy of the state and representing Kazakhstan within the country and in international relations. The President - the symbol and guarantor of the unity of the people and state power, inviolability of the Constitution, rights and freedoms of man and citizen

The government exercises executive power of the Republic of Kazakhstan, heads the system of executive bodies and exercise supervision of their activity. Legislative functions are performed by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which consists of two chambers - the Senate and Mazhilis acting on a constant basis.

The Senate is composed of deputies representing the procedure established by constitutional law, on two persons from each region, city and the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Fifteen deputies of the Senate appointed by the President, taking into account the need for representation in the Senate of national-cultural and other significant public interest. Mazhilis consists of hundred seven deputies elected in the manner prescribed by constitutional law. Nine deputies of the Mazhilis are elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan. The term of office of the Senate deputies - six years, the term of office of the deputies of the Mazhilis - five years. Currently, there are three parties in Mazhilis - the "Nur Otan" People's - Democratic Party, "Ak Zhol" - Democratic Party of Kazakhstan and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan.

On the administrative and territorial structure of the country is divided into 14 regions and 2 cities of republican significance:

Astana - a city of republican importance - the capital of Kazakhstan

Almaty - a city of republican significance

Shymkent - a city of republican significance

Akmola region

Aktobe region

Almaty region

Atyrau region

East Kazakhstan region

Karaganda region

Kostanay

Kyzylorda region

MangYstau region

North-Kazakhstan region

Pavlodar region

South-Kazakhstan region

Turkestan region

West Kazakhstan region

Zhambyl region

The population of Kazakhstan was 16 million 760 thousand people as of June 1, 2012. According to the national census of 2009, the ethnic structure of Kazakhstan's society is as follows: Kazakhs - 63.07%, Russians - 23.70%, Uzbeks - 2.85%, Ukrainians - 2.08%, Uighurs - 1.40%, Tatars - 1.28%, Germans - 1.11%, Others - 4.51 %.

Kazakhstan is located in the centre of Eurasia. Occupying 2 million 724.9 thousand square kilometers, the country is in the ninth place in terms of area among the states of the world. The republic has common borders with Russia – 7.591 km (the longest continuous land border in the world) in the north and west, in the east with China – 1.783 km, in the south with Kyrgyzstan – 1.242 km, with Uzbekistan – 2.351 km and with Turkmenistan – 426 km. The total length of land borders – 13.200 km. In addition, the republic is washed by the inland seas – the Caspian and Aral. Kazakhstan is the largest country in the world, which has no direct access to the world ocean.

A large part of the country’s territory consists of deserts – 44% and semi-deserts – 14%. Steppes occupy 26% of the territory of Kazakhstan, forests – 5.5%. There are 8.5 thousand rivers in Kazakhstan. The north-eastern part of the Caspian Sea is part of the republic. The Aral Sea is divided between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There are 48 thousand large and small lakes in Kazakhstan. The largest of them are Balkhash, Zaisan and Alakol. The remoteness from the oceans causes a sharply continental climate of the country. The average January temperature is -19 °C in the North to -2 °C in the south, the average July temperature is +19 °C in the north and +28 °C in the south. Summer in the country is hot and dry, winter is cold and snowy.

The Republic of Kazakhstan is an industrial country, one of the main sources of economic growth of which is mining. The mineral resource base of the country consists of more than 5 thousand deposits, the estimated cost of which is estimated at tens of trillions USD. The Republic ranks first in the world in proven reserves of zinc, tungsten and barite, the second – silver, lead and chromites, the third – copper and fluorite, the fourth – molybdenum, the sixth – gold.

Kazakhstan also has significant oil and gas reserves, which are concentrated in the western regions. Today the country is one of the leading oil-producing countries in the world – more than 80 million tons of oil and gas condensate per year. It is planned to increase annual production to 120 million tons by 2020. Now Kazakhstan is on the ninth place in the world in terms of confirmed oil reserves. Besides that, the country occupies ranking eighth place in the world by the coal reserves and second place by uranium reserves.

Traditionally, much attention is paid to the development of agriculture in the country. Kazakhstan is one of the top ten world grain exporters and one of the leaders in flour exports. 70% of arable land in the north is occupied by grain and industrial crops-wheat, barley, millet. Rice, cotton and tobacco are grown in the south of the country. Kazakhstan is also famous for its gardens, vineyards and melons. The leading branch of agriculture is animal husbandry, the key areas of which is the breeding of cattle, horses, camels and pigs. Poultry farming and fishing are also developed in the republic.

In a short historical period, since gaining independence in 1991, GDP to one resident has increased 16 times – from 700 to 12 000 us dollars, this is a phenomenal result, even in comparison with the rapidly developing South-Eastern countries – ‘tigers’. According to British experts, Kazakhstan ranks third of 25 most dynamic economies of the first decade of the XXI century, missing only China and Qatar. According to the classification of the World Bank, the republic was included in the group of countries with above-average income.

During the years of independence, Kazakhstan attracted 150 billion dollars of foreign investments, which is about 70% of the total volume of all investments attracted to Central Asia. As of June 1, 2012, the country's gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to about 85 billion US dollars, of which more than 50 billion dollars are accounted for by the national Fund. In the world Bank ranking on business conditions in 2011, Kazakhstan took 47th place, beating all CIS countries. In the ranking of global competitiveness of the International Institute for management development (IMD) in 2011, the Republic is located on the 36th place, ahead of Indonesia, Turkey, Italy and many other countries.

Kazakhstan's foreign trade turnover in 2011 amounted to more than 125 billion dollars. The main export goods are products of mining, fuel and energy, metallurgical and chemical industries, as well as the grain industry. The main trade partners of the Republic are Russia, China, European and CIS countries.

As part of the diversification of the economy, the State program of forced industrial and innovative development is successfully implemented in the country. In accordance with this strategic initiative, old and new enterprises and production facilities are being modernized throughout the country.

Kazakhstan is implementing a large-scale project "New silk Road", which should revive the historical role of the country as the main link of the continent and turn it into the largest business and transit hub of the region – a kind of bridge between Europe and Asia. As a result of the implementation of this mega-project by 2020, the volume of transit traffic through the Republic should increase by almost 2 times with further increase to at least 50 million tons per year.

The tourism cluster of Kazakhstan has a significant potential, which is able to convert the huge landscape wealth and unique cultural and historical heritage of the country into new opportunities for development.

A large – scale social modernization of the country is being carried out-new schools, professional colleges and universities are being built, ultramodern medical clinics and hospitals are being opened, the system of social support of the population is being improved.

At present, representatives of 130 ethnoses live in the republic, the consultative and advisory body for the harmonization of interethnic relations – Assembly of people of Kazakhstan successfully operates. In 2012, Astana hosted the IV Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, which was attended by about 85 delegations from 40 countries. Every year since 2008, the Astana Economic Forum gathers leading economists, analysts and experts from around the world. In early 2011, Astana and Almaty successfully hosted the VII Asian Winter Games, the national team took the first team place.

As a leader in Central Asia, the republic makes a significant contribution to the stability of the region. The country has achieved great success on the world stage. This is evidenced by the chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE and the holding summit of this authoritative international organization in Astana in December 2010. A significant initiative of the country was the launch and development of the CICA project – Asian counterpart of the OSCE. Positive feedback was received by the creative activity of Kazakhstan as the Chairman of the leading organization of the Islamic world – OIC. The country is also a recognized leader in the global anti-nuclear movement. As a whole, nowadays Kazakhstan actively co-operates with various countries-partners within the framework of several international organizations – CIS, SCO, EurAsEC, etc.

In July 2010, Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia began to operate, and from January 1, 2012 – Common Economic Space. These associations are aimed at the effective development of the economies of the member States and improving the living standards of the population on the basis of the principle of freedom of movement of goods, services, financial and human capital across the borders of the three countries.

Stable growth of all sectors of the economy, international recognition, political stability has become the basis of prosperity of Kazakhstan's society. Kazakhstan is a country looking to the future, which honors its cultural traditions and successfully realizes the huge creative potential in the modern highly competitive world.