KAZAKHSTAN

Information about travelling to Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe

Facts about Kazakhstan
Population15,340,533 (July 2008 est
CapitalAstana
Time zoneUTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) note: Kazakhstan is divided into
Location Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe

General info about Kazakhstan
Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate. Kazakhstan's economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states combined, largely due to the country's vast natural resources and a recent history of political stability. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan's competitiveness; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
Languages spoken
Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)
What about drugs?
significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; significant consumer of opiates
Ethnic division
Kazakh (Qazaq) 53.4%, Russian 30%, Ukrainian 3.7%, Uzbek 2.5%, German 2.4%, Tatar 1.7%, Uygur 1.4%, other 4.9% (1999 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.2% (2001 est.)
Climate
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Resources
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Economy
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources. Kazakhstan enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 and 8% or more per year in 2002-07 - thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and increased foreign investment; growth slowed to 5% in 2008, however, as a result of declining oil prices and a softening world economy. Inflation reached 10% in 2007 and 18% in 2008. In the energy sector, the opening of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity. In 2006 Kazakhstan completed the Atasu-Alashankou portion of an oil pipeline to China that is planned in future construction to extend from the country's Caspian coast eastward to the Chinese border. The country has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector by developing its manufacturing potential. The policy changed the corporate tax code to favor domestic industry as a means to reduce the influence of foreign investment and foreign personnel. The government has engaged in several disputes with foreign oil companies over the terms of production agreement, most recently, in regards to the Kashagan project in 2007-08. Since 2007, Astana has provided financial support to the banking sector which has been struggling with poor asset quality and large foreign loans.
Environment
radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices

Cities in Kazakhstan

abay     achisay     aksay     aksu     aktas     aktau     alekseyevka     almaty     aqtobe     arys     astana     atasu     atbasar     atyrau     ayagoz     balkhash     balykshi     batamshinskiy     belousovka     bestobe     beyneu     boralday     borovskoy     bulaevo     chardara     chingirlau     derzhavinsk     dossor     dzhusaly     ekibastuz     emba     energeticheskiy     ereymentau     esik     esil     fort-shevchenko     georgiyevka     glubokoe     gulshat     ilyich     inderborskiy     kachiry     karabulak     karatau     karaton     karkaralinsk     kazalinsk     kentau     khromtau     kirovskiy     komsomolets     krasnoarmeysk     kurchum     kuryk     kushmurun     lenger     lisakovsk     makat     makinsk     mamlyutka     maykain     merke     mikhaylovka     novodolinskiy     osakarovka     oskemen     oytal     pavlodar     petropavl     qostanay     sarkand     saryagash     saryozek     saryshagan     semey     serebryansk     sergeyevka     shakhtinsk     shar     shemonaikha     shetpe     shieli     shu     shubarkuduk     shubarshi     shymkent     stepnogorsk     stepnyak     talgar     taraz     tasbuget     tekeli     temir     temirtau     tobol     turkistan     urdzhar     ushtobe     zachagansk     zaysan     zhanakorgan     zhanaozen     zhanatas     zharkent     zhetybay     zhetysay     zhezkazgan     zhitikara     zholymbet     zyryanovsk    


Airports in Kazakhstan
AktyubinskAKX
Almaty International AirportALA
AtbasarATX
ArkalykAYK
ZhambylDMB
ZhezhazganDZN
EkibastuzEKB
AtyrauGUW
KaragandaKGF
KokshetauKOV
KostanayKSN
Kzyl-OrdaKZO
SemipalatinskPLX
PetropavlovskPPK
PavlodarPWQ
AktauSCO
ZaisanSZI
Taldy-KurganTDK
AstanaTSE


Beer in Kazakhstan (0.33l)
Almaty~ 0.8 EUR
Astana~ 3.3 EUR
Atyrau~ 2.3 EUR
Karaganda~ 0.5 EUR

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