Gradually improving, but risks remain elevated amid rising global challenges


HIGH RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

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GDP USD159bn (World ranking 55, World Bank 2017)
Population 18mn (World ranking 64, World Bank 2017)
Form of state Republic / authoritarian presidential rule
Head of government Kassym-Zhomart TOKAYEV  (President)
Next elections 2020, presidential
  • Abundance of raw materials (e.g. hydrocarbons)
  • The National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NFRK, the national oil fund) still holds ample assets (USD56bn in September 2018 although down from a peak of USD77bn in August 2014)
  • Strategic location in Central Asia: benefits from China’s Belt and Road Initiative in terms of FDI and infrastructure investment
  • Authoritarian political regime
  • Interventionist and protectionist econo¬mic strategy
  • High dependence on global commodity prices
  • Exchange rate vulnerability to external shocks
  • Vulnerability to Russian business cycle
  • Political instability (i.e. leadership transition)
  • Regional instability in Central Asia
  • High external debt burden

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Italy 20%
34% Russia
China 11%
22% China
Russia 10%
5% Germany
Netherlands 9%
4% United States
Switzerland 7%
3% Italy

Trade structure by product

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials 55%
9% Other industrial machinery and parts
Non-ferrous metals 10%
7% Iron and steel
Iron and steel 8%
6% Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s.
Inorganic chemicals 6%
5% Manufactures of metal, n.e.s.
Gas, natural and manufactured 5%
4% Specialised machinery
The payment culture of Kazakh companies has declined due to local currency devaluation from 2014, with a high risk of further devaluation. There are no DSO statistics available and it highly depends on industry.

  • Low

  • Medium

  • Sensitive

  • High

  • Payments

  • Court proceedings

  • Insolvency proceedings


The courts are reliable and deliver their decisions quickly. However, the requirements to provide supporting documentation for the claim are rather high. Enforcement procedures show moderate results and there is room for improvement.

Insolvency proceedings tend to bring low results for unsecured creditors, while the creditor’s claim must be accompanied by the required set of documentation.


Contact Euler Hermes

Economic Research Team


Contact Manfred Stamer

Senior Economist for Emerging Europe and the Middle East