Kazakhstan has been very active in improving its business environment as tracked through the Doing Business report, improving its ranking from 63 in 2010 to 50 in 2014. The country has demonstrated strong ownership of the reform agenda and continues working actively on new reforms to further improve the investment climate. Efforts have been made to reduce administrative burdens by attempting to cut the number of required business permits in combination with temporal bans on business inspections, increase the transparency of planned inspections, and introduce risk-based inspections, efforts that were only partially successful. The existence of multiple layers of regulatory legislation gives wide room for the duplication of different permitting instruments, making them hard to track down. Unplanned and inconsistent business inspections and obscure permit procedures remain issues that need addressing.
Although structuring the work as a longer term programmatic technical assistance under the Joint Economic Research Program (JERP), the World Bank team has put a lot of emphasis on providing quick response advisory support to the challenges facing the Government during the reform process. The majority of the formal outputs were developed in close collaboration with the respective authorities, which, on the one hand, helped produce highly relevant policy recommendations and, on the other, translated into substantial capacity building through ongoing advisory and technical support. The result was a new regulatory system that was conceptualized in parallel with an inventory of existing permitting instruments, laying solid grounds for the rapid introduction of a new system.