OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Kazakhstan 2017

image of OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Kazakhstan 2017

This review, which was prepared in response to Kazakhstan's 2012 request to adhere to the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises (OECD Declaration), analyses the general framework for investment as well as most recent reforms, and shows where further efforts are necessary. It assesses Kazakhstan’s ability to comply with the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination and its policy convergence with the OECD Declaration, including responsible business conduct practices. Capitalising on the OECD Policy Framework for Investment, this review studies other policy areas that are of key relevance to investment such as SME policy, infrastructure development, trade policy as well as anti-corruption efforts. Since the first review of Kazakhstan, in 2012, the authorities have made strides in opening the country to international investment and in improving the policy framework for investment as part of their efforts to diversify the economy to avoid continued overreliance on oil. Additional policy measures are nevertheless required to create a stimulating environment for investment if the government wants to fulfil its goal of economic diversification and sustainable development.


Assessment and recommendations

Kazakhstan has enjoyed a long period of stability and prosperity, with one of the world’s fastest growing economies over the past decade benefitting from high commodity prices. The past 15 years have been in contrast with the immediate post-independence period when the economy suffered from a sharp economic decline. Extensive reforms following independence, in 1991, started bringing benefits, supported by a sharp oil price increase beginning in 1999. Surging commodity prices supported a strong economic performance in particular between 2000-07, reflected in average annual growth of real GDP of 10.2%. On the demand side, growth had been driven by private consumption and private sector investment, fuelled by strong wage expansion and a credit boom increasingly funded by large scale foreign borrowing of Kazakh banks.


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