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Kazakstan Index

Gross National Product (GNP): Estimated 1993 at US$26.5 billion, or US$1,530 per capita. In 1994 estimated growth rate -25.4 percent. In early 1990s, growth hindered by Soviet-era specialization and centralization, slow privatization.

Agriculture: Large-scale misallocation of land in Soviet Virgin Lands program, emphasizing cultivation over livestock, con-tinues to distort land use. Main crops wheat, cotton, and rice; main livestock products meat and milk. State farms continue to dominate, 1996; land privatization minimal.

Industry and Mining: Outmoded heavy industry infrastructure inherited from Soviet era, specializing in chemicals, machinery, oil refining, and metallurgy; coal, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, and various other minerals mined. Some light industry. Industrial productivity hampered by lost markets and enterprise debt.

Energy: Plentiful reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas make energy production dominant industrial sector. Offshore Caspian Sea fields, in early production stages, have huge capacity; extraction expanding with Western investment and new pipeline project. Natural gas fields, notably Karachaganak, will expand output in later 1990s. Thermoelectric power plants, main source of power, fueled by lignite mines. Kazakstan remains net importer of energy and fuel, 1995.

Exports: Mainly raw materials: metals, oil and petroleum products, chemicals, worth US$3.08 billion in 1994; share of bartered goods, substantial in early 1990s, smaller in 1995 and mainly with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) partners. Cash sales to CIS partners increased substantially in 1995, partially replacing barter. Export structure shifting steadily to non-CIS partners, mid-1990s, as Western oil sales increase; non-CIS expansion needed to balance imports for industrial restructuring.

Imports: In 1994, worth US$3.49 billion, mainly energy products, machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and food. Industrial machinery and technology imports will increase, energy products decrease, in late 1990s. Trade deficits with both CIS and non-CIS groups, 1994. Main trading partners Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, and China.

Balance of Payments: In 1994, deficit of US$2.5 billion.

Exchange Rate: Tenge introduced November 1993 when Kazakstan left ruble zone. Exchange rate sixty-four to US$1, January 1996.

Inflation: Hyperinflation, 1993 and 1994, brought under better control with tightened loan policy; estimated 1995 annual rate 190 percent.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Fiscal Policy: Centralized system; fundamental streamlining of tax code, 1995, emphasizing taxation of individuals over taxation of enterprises. Targeted 1995 budget shortfall 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Data as of March 1996

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