Doing Business with Kazakhstan
|Language||Kazakh (state), Russian (official)|
|Religion||Sunni Islam (70.4%), Christianity (24.8%)|
|State system||presidential system, political reforms aim at strengthening the role of parliament|
|Head of State||Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev|
|Head of government||Alikhan Smailov|
|Currency name||Kazakhstan Tenge|
|Time shift||+5 hours (in summer +4 hours)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||181|
|Economic growth (%)||4.1|
Kazakhstan is economically and socially the most advanced country in Central Asia, which by its area is among the 10 largest countries in the world. In the ranking of competitiveness, compiled by the World Competitiveness Center of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), in 2021, Kazakhstan ranked 35th out of 64 compared economies (42nd in 2020). The country has significant reserves of oil, minerals and metals, which largely form Kazakhstan’s export base. It also has great agricultural potential thanks to the vast steppes, which provide space both for the production of livestock and for the cultivation of cereals. Kazakhstan’s industry consists primarily in the extraction and processing of natural resources. However, it also has a relatively developed engineering sector specializing in construction machinery, agricultural machinery and others.
Kazakhstan is a presidential republic, the parliament has legislative power, but the majority of powers are concentrated in the hands of the president. Currently in Kazakhstan, among other things, following the mass riots of January 2022, constitutional reforms to limit the powers of the president in favor of both houses of parliament.
In 2021, there was a revival of the economy of Kazakhstan with a GDP growth of 4.1%, which was contributed by, among others, stabilization of oil prices on world markets. However, the country continued to struggle with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated quarantine measures and travel restrictions. The events of January 2022 caused a short-term impact on economic growth and investor expectations, but after only a few months, 4% GDP growth was restored and a similar amount is expected in 2023. Economic growth is also made possible thanks to transfers of funds from the so-called National fund, accumulating wealth from the extraction of mineral resources.
Czech-Kazakhstan bilateral relations have been developed and active for a long time. The trend of the interest of the Czech business sphere towards Kazakhstan continues, which includes it manifests itself in growing exports from the Czech Republic to Kazakhstan and in the participation of Czech companies in business missions to Kazakhstan and in important fairs and exhibitions. Kazakhstan is continuing the country’s industrialization programs, which is generating demand for modern equipment and technology across a range of sectors. Opportunities for Czech manufacturers exist in the sectors of energy, transport, engineering, agriculture, healthcare, defense and security, the financial sector, consumer goods (glass, furniture, etc.) and other sectors.
The Kazakh market has strong potential, but it is necessary to take into account that entering it is complicated, expensive and especially time-consuming. Personal contacts are especially important for promoting the offered goods in Kazakhstan, knowledge of Russian is an advantage.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
The country code for Kazakhstan is +7, followed by the city code and the number itself. In the case of a mobile number, +7 (with continuation e.g. 777 7777777) is instead replaced by 8 (with continuation e.g. 777 7777777)
- 101 – fire service
- 102 – the police
- 103 – rapid medical assistance
- 104 – accident – gas
- 112 – extraordinary events
- 118 – information about phone numbers in Almaty (cannot be called from some nodes)
- 130 – 24-hour information service “medical help and medicines” in Almaty
- 188 – paid information service for telephone numbers
- 155 – from a fixed line in Almaty, information at the airport
- 8 (727) 2703333 from a mobile phone airport information in Almaty
- 8 (7172) 702999 from a mobile phone airport information in Nur-Sultan
- 158 – taxi from a fixed line in Almaty
Important web links and contacts
- Official website of the President of the KZ
- Official website of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
- Government of Kazakhstan
- Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources KZ
- Ministry of Trade and Integration KZ
- Ministry of Energy KZ
- Ministry of Aerospace Industry KZ
- Ministry of National Economy KZ
- Ministry of Culture and Sports KZ
- Ministry of Finance KZ
- Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development KZ
- Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of KZ
- Ministry of Health KZ
- Ministry of Education and Science KZ
- Ministry of Justice KZ
- Ministry of Agriculture KZ
- Ministry of Information and Social Development KZ
- Ministry of Defense KZ
- Ministry of the Interior KZ
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs KZ
- Official website of the city of Nur-Sultan
- Official site of the city of Almaty
- Development Bank of Kazakhstan
- National Agency for Technological Development
- Investment Fund of Kazakhstan
- National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan
- Public Services and Information online
- Astana International Finance Center (AIFC)
PaulSourcing: Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Kazakhstan
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with Kazakhstan for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Kazakhstan.
- Gain trust through personal contactBusiness has a significant social dimension in Kazakhstan and is strongly based on personal contact. Personal contact, especially at the beginning of a business case, is very important. At this stage, you gain the trust of your business partner, which is absolutely essential for the success of business in Kazakhstan.
- Do business in RussianThe business language is almost always Russian. You don’t do well with English. Kazakh is the state language, Russian the official and business language. Also try to prepare catalogs and brochures in Russian.
- Don’t underestimate the handshakePersonal interaction begins with a handshake. If your partner squeezes your hand with his other hand at the same time, it is a sign of friendship, trust and respect from his side. It is an old Kazakh tradition. Not everyone uses it today, some rich businessmen no longer respect this tradition, but in most cases it is followed.
- Prepare a “toast “It is a common custom to go and sit in a restaurant, a “dacha” or a “mine” after a meeting. Kazakhs are lovers and masters of “tosts” (toasts), so always prepare some “toast” in advance.
- Rely on the phone more than e-mailThe best means of communication are the phone and fax. If you send an email, I recommend that you call after a few hours and ask if the email in question has been received and when you can expect a response.
- Remind yourselfBe active in communication, it is necessary to constantly remind yourself. If the partner does not respond to an e-mail or fax, it does not mean that he is not interested.
- Be patientDecision-making here usually takes longer than is usual here. Arm yourself with patience.
- Prepare documents in RussianTry to prepare catalogs and brochures in Russian.
- Develop personal contactsTo participate in tenders or tenders, it is a good idea to connect with a Kazakh partner or company. Without good contacts and knowledge of this environment, you will usually not succeed. Friendship and family ties are often used in business.
- Go to trade fairsTo gain initial contacts, trust and prestige, it is possible to participate in a professional trade fair, but with regard to greater efficiency, we recommend using the individual assistance service of the PaulSourcing office or participating in one of the missions organized by it. Addressing companies directly from the Czech Republic through contacts on the Internet usually does not bring any feedback.