GDP, current $ billion
GDP per capita, current $
School Enrollment, primary (% gross) (2020)
Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2020)
Since the 2000s, Kazakhstan has seen impressive economic growth driven by the first generation of market-oriented reforms, abundant mineral resources extraction, and strong FDI. Sustained economic growth has transformed the country into an upper middle-income economy, commensurately raising living standards and reducing poverty.
This progress, however, masks vulnerabilities and unevenness in the country’s development model. Slowing economic growth, growing inequality and elite capture, and weak institutions reflect the flaws of the resource-based and state-led growth model and raise the risk that Kazakhstan could become stuck in the “middle-income trap.”
Kazakhstan needs to strengthen competition and human capital and improve public sector and SOEs performances. The country should also initiate reforms in carbon and energy pricing, strengthen social protection, and invest in climate adaptation. Revitalizing economic growth and productivity requires implementing structural reforms to transition from a state-dominated development model to a more resilient private sector-led one. This entails fostering competition and limiting the market dominance of SOEs, reinforcing the rule of law, and resolute anticorruption action. Enabling private investment and competition in non-oil growth sectors would need to be a key part of this effort.