The Republic of Kazakhstan is a nation situated in the middle of Eurasia, lying partially both in Europe and Asia, with Asian part being the largest; Kazakhstan is surrounded by the Caspian Sea, Lower Volga Basin, Ural, Siberia, China and Central Asia.
|Date of Independence||December 16, 1991 (from USSR)|
|Official Languages||Kazakh — state language, Russian — official language|
|Major Cities||Astana, Almaty, Shymkent, Karaganda, Aktobe, Pavlodar, Taraz, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semey|
|Form of Government||Presidential republic|
Total: 2,724,902 km²
% water: 1.50%
Deserts constitute the largest part of the territory — 44%, while semideserts amount to 14% of the land area. 26% of the Kazakhstan land is steppes, and 5.5% is forests. There are 8,500 rivers in Kazakhstan. North-eastern part of the water area of the Caspian Sea is within the territory of Kazakhstan. Aral Sea is divided between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There are 48,000 large and small lakes in Kazakhstan. The largest lakes are Balkhash, Zaisan and Alakol. Landlocked status of the country explains the extremely continental climate. Average temperature in January — from −19°C in the north, and to −2°C in the south, July average temperate — from +19°C in the north and up to +28 °C in the south. Summers are hot and dr, and winters are cold and snowy.
Republic of Kazakhstan is an industrial nation, with mining being one of its primary drivers of economic growth. The mineral resource base of the country consists of over 5,000 deposits, with the forecast cost of dozens of trillions of US dollars. Worldwide, Kazakhstan is ranked first in the world in terms of discovered zinc, tungsten and barite deposits; ranked second in discovered silver, lead and chromites; third in copper and fluorite; fourth in molybdenum, and sixth in gold deposits.
Kazakhstan also possesses considerable amounts of oil and natural gas, found in the western provinces of the country. Today, the Republic is considered among the leading oil-mining nations of the world, contributing over 80 millions of tons of oil and gas condensate per year. By year 2020 it is planned to increase the annual mining to 120 millions of tons. Today, Kazakhstan is ranked 9th in the world in terms of confirmed oil reserves. Furthermore, the nation is ranked 8th worldwide in terms of coal reserves, as well as 2nd in terms of uranium deposits.
Over the period of independence, Kazakhstan has managed to raise 150 billion US dollars in foreign investments, which amounts to 70% of total investments raised in Central Asia. Gold-mining reserves of the nation, as at June 1, 2012, totaled at 85 billion US dollars, of which over 50 billions are in the National Fund. In 2011, in the World Bank’s Doing Business list, Kazakhstan was ranked 47th, ahead of all other CIS nations. In the IMD’s World Competitiveness Ranking 2011, Kazakhstan was 36th, ahead of Indonesia, Turkey, Italy and many other countries.
Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover in 2011 totaled at 125 billion dollars. The nation’s primary exported goods are provided by the mining, fuel-energy, metallurgy and chemical industries, as well as grain production. Major trade partners of Kazakhstan are Russia, China, European states and CIS.