Kazakh Economy Demonstrates High Adaptability Amid Geopolitical Tensions, Says Minister of National Economy

ASTANA – Kazakh economy has demonstrated high adaptability despite unprecedentedly high inflation rates worldwide, increase in interest rates, and disruptions in global demand and supply chains, said Minister of National Economy Alibek Kuantyrov during a press briefing with foreign media at the Central Communication Services on March 17 in Astana.

Minister of Economy Kuantyrov during a press briefing with foreign media at CCS on March 17. Photo credit: The Astana Times.

“We managed to maintain positive economic growth. According to preliminary data, in 2022, our economy expanded by 3.2 percent year-on-year, with an increase in investments and foreign trade being the main drivers,” said Kuantyrov. 

According to the minister, the redirection of trade flows resulted in a significant increase in international trade volumes last year, with foreign trade turnover rising by 32.1 percent and reaching $134.4 billion.

The minister addressed the country’s steps to minimize the adverse effects of Western sanctions against Russia on the Kazakh economy. Kuantyrov said that as part of this work, the country is in a dialogue with representatives of the United States (US) government agencies, including the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Treasury Department, the Department of State, and the U.S. Congress.

 “We maintain regular contact with our Western partners to discuss current issues of the impact of economic sanctions on the economic agents of Kazakhstan. The effectiveness of this work has been confirmed by the recent removal of Bereke Bank [former subsidiary of Sberbank] from sanction lists. Currently, the process of unblocking the transactions of Kazakhstan’s entities is in progress,” the minister said. 

Kuantyrov pointed out that because of Kazakhstan’s geographical location and historical background, it has close economic relations with all neighboring countries, including Russia and China. According to him, as a landlocked country with intertwined commercial inter-sectoral linkages to the economy of Russia, Kazakhstan has been experiencing knock-on effects from sanctions. 

“Kazakhstan does not participate in sanctions against Russia but adheres to the principle that various companies are not using our territory to bypass them. At the same time, being a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), we will continue trade relations with Russia and other countries,” he said.

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