Country Series: Republic of Kazakhstan

In order to promote Pakistan’s trade with its non-traditional trading partners, the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) since 2015 has been doing a Country Profile Series aimed at introducing non-traditional markets to Pakistan’s exporters. This is the second publication of the Central Asia Country Series and features the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Republic of Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Europe with a total area of 2,724,900 km2 and 14 administrative regions.  The population of Kazakhstan in 2017 was estimated at 18,096,291 out of which around 70% are Muslims. A comparison of economic profiles of Pakistan and Kazakhstan is depicted in the following table.

Pakistan Kazakhstan
Population 207,774,520 (Census) 18,096,291 (Estimate)
2014 2015 2016 2014 2015 2016
GDP (current US$ Billion) 244.36 271.05 283.66 221.42 184.39 133.66
GDP growth rate (%) 4.67 4.71 5.74 4.20 1.20 1.00
Population (Million) 185.55 189.38 193.20 17.29 17.54 17.80
FDI, net inflows (BoP, current US$ Billion) 1.87 0.98 N/A 7.09 6.58 N/A
GNI per capita (current US$ Million) 0.14 0.15 0.16 2.06 2.19 2.33
Official Exchange Rate (LCU per US$) 101.10 102.77 104.77 179.19 221.73 342.16

With the 11th largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas, the development of fossil fuels has led to a 13% contribution to the GDP, with agriculture contributing 5% and tourism 0.3%. Trade plays a significant role, with total exports in 2016 amounting to US $36.78 billion and the total imports being US $25.17 billion,  resulting in a trade  surplus of US $11.60 billion.  Fuel and mining products are the major exports, followed by manufactured goods and agricultural products. The major imports of Kazakhstan include mechanical appliances, electrical machinery, iron and steel products and pharmaceutical products amongst others.

Kazakhstan initially enjoyed a positive trade balance with Pakistan which turned negative in 2011 when imports from Pakistan increased to $29.58 million, while exports decreased to only $3.95 million. The highest trade deficit was reported in 2015 when it reached $31.44 million. The most exported items to Pakistan were lentils and iron & steel products while major imports from Pakistan are fresh and dried mandarins. The trade potential indicators show that a much larger value of trade is possible between the two countries. Items with major export potential for Pakistan include: Medical appliances ($73.95 million), Medicaments for therapy ($70.63 million), Medicaments with hormones ($28.91 million) and, bandages ($4.25 million). Similarly, items with the highest import potential for Pakistan include: Dried lentils ($33.59 million), parts for boring or sinking machinery ($20.23 million) and, boards & cabinets for electric control ($12.13 million).