Kazakhstan is a landlocked, Central Asian country on the Caspian Sea that shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. While its generous endowment of energy resources has resulted in a large trade surplus, it has diminished the development of value added production and exposed Kazakhstan to unstable commodity prices. In addition to a lack of product diversification, export markets are highly concentrated in China and a few European countries. Imports meanwhile arrive mainly from Russia and China. Although the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union should increase regional trade opportunities, Kazakhstan must make efforts to finalize WTO accession so as to gain access to a wider range of markets. In order to enhance trade competitiveness, Kazakhstan must address issues related to its dependence on natural resources, low productivity, insufficient regional and global integration, limited financial access for SMEs, inadequate trade logistics, and weak quality management infrastructure.
Notes: Top 20 products listed in decreasing order of their export potential to the world. Development indicators are relative to the country’s current situation, green indicating performance above its trade-weighted median and red otherwise. A blank cell indicates that data are not available. A blank cell in export potential means that the product was not consistently demanded over five years by any country in the respective region. Exports (US$ thousand) correspond to average exports to the world over the period 2009-2013.