Since Kazakhstan became an independent republic in 1991, its economy has grown impressively, driven largely through exploitation of the country’s substantial oil and gas reserves. However, the country continues to struggle with a variety of economic challenges that have their roots in the Soviet era, including weak trade links with other Central Asian states and a cumbersome regulatory system that continues to impede business growth. There are considerable disparities between urban and rural areas and between geographic regions.
USAID’s activities promote the diversification of Kazakhstan’s economy outside the oil and gas sector including in sectors such as transport and logistics, horticulture, information technology, and tourism. USAID also seeks to identify and remove the barriers to trade with Kazakshtan’s Central Asian neighbors, enabling the country to reach its potential as a regional hub of trade and investment.
- USAID enabled extensive training for about 700 people in topics ranging from international public sector accounting standards, infrastructure, public-private partnerships, and global best practices in the business regulatory environment. These business leaders submitted over 50 policy change recommendations to the Government of Kazakhstan.
- USAID has worked with the Kazakhstan Union of Transport Workers to develop new professional standards for four professions in the transport and logistics field.
- USAID facilitated business development tours to the United States for private sector representatives; several participants from these groups reported preliminary agreements on further business contacts with U.S. partners.