Kazakhstan’s economy and society have undergone deep transformations since the country
declared independence in 1991. Kazakhstan’s growth performance since 2000 has been
impressive, averaging almost 8% per annum in real terms and leading to job creation
and progress in the well-being of its citizens. Extractive industries play an important
role in the dynamism of the economy, but sources of growth beyond natural resource
sectors remain underexploited. In the social arena, dimensions of well-being beyond
incomes and jobs have not kept pace with economic growth.
Kazakhstan has set itself the goal of becoming one of the 30 most developed countries
in the world by 2050. To sustain rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth and social
progress, Kazakhstan will need to overcome a number of significant challenges. Natural-resource
dependency, the concentration of economic clout and a fragile and underdeveloped financial
sector limit diversification and economic dynamism. Widespread corruption still affects
multiple state functions, undermines the business environment, meritocracy and entrepreneurial
spirit. More generally, the state has limited capacity to fulfil some of its functions,
which affects the delivery of public services like health and education, as well as
the protection of the environment and the generation of skills.