Kazakhstan: Doing business and staying in touch
Doing Business in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has enormous natural deposits, including iron, nickel, zinc, manganese, coal, chromium, copper, lead, gold and silver. The coalfields of the Karaganda are some of the largest in Asia. There are substantial oil and gas deposits, many of which have only recently been located.
Stone, such as marble and granite, is also produced in large quantities. Agriculture accounts for half of economic output; the main commodities are wheat, meat products, wool and a variety of crops: sugar beet, potatoes, cereals, cotton, fruit and vegetables. Livestock rearing is also important in this very arid region.
A consequence of extensive cultivation is heavy demand on water supplies, most particularly the rivers of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This was the major cause of one of the greatest ecological disasters of recent times: the shrinking of the Aral Sea.
Since independence, Kazakhstan has joined the IMF, World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and has signed a co-operation agreement with the EU. It also belongs to the Central Asian Economic Union (ECO).
Many international business events are held in the Alatau Winter Resort near Almaty, by such organisations as UNESCO, ICF and others. There is an annual International Exhibition Fair called Karkara held at the Exhibition Complex of the Business Cooperation Centre in Almaty every September. Businesspeople from all over the world meet here to make contacts and conclude business contracts. Other large industrial towns, such as Chimkent, Karaganda and Pavlodar, have conference and convention facilities and other industrial exhibitions and fairs are held here.
US$132 billion (2008).
Oil, metals, machinery, chemicals, grain, wool and coal.
Industrial materials, oil and gas, and vehicles.
Main trading partners
USA, Germany, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands, China (PR), Uzbekistan, Korea (Rep) and Ukraine.
Keeping in Touch in Kazakhstan
International calls can be made at a reduced rate from 2000-0800 local time. All major cities are equipped with card operated phones. Cards can be purchased at kiosks, and can be used to make international calls. The best card to make international calls with is an i-card+.
Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good around the main cities.
There are Internet cafes in most towns and cities. Internet access is also available in major hotels, but services are usually more expensive than in cafes.
Full postal facilities are available at main post offices in the cities, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The main post office in Almaty is located on Ulitsa Kurmangazy. International postal communication is undertaken by the firms Blitz-Pochta, International Press and Press Limited.
Delivery within the republic takes three to five days. Post to Western Europe and the USA takes between two to three weeks. Mail addresses should be laid out in the following order: country, postcode, city, street, house number and, lastly, the person's name. Visitors can also use post offices located within major hotels.