; Kazakhstan at a glimpse
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Kazakhstan at a glimpse

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									 kf      kazakhstan • profile                                                                                                                                                                          kazakhstan • profile                                 kf

         Kazakhstan at a glimpse                                                                                                Cities                                   Almaty                                    Formerly known as Alma-Ata, it is
                                                                                                                                                                         It was until very recently the capital    called Almaty since 1994. The word
                                                                                                                                Astana                                   of Kazakhstan (1929-1997) Now,            Almaty means “apple abundance”
                                                                                                                                The capital city was transferred from    Almaty with a population of over          from the Turkic word “alma” mean-
                                                                                                                                Almaty to Astana in December 1997        one million is an economic, finan-        ing apple tree..
         Facts                                                                                                                  (formally it was known as Akmola         cial, scientific, educational, cultural   The climate varies from continen-
                                                                                                                                until 1998). President Nazarbaev         and transport center of the country.      tal to sub-continental and in some
             Full name: Republic of Kazakhstan
                                                                                                                                cited Astana’s more central and less     The underground railway will soon         places almost arctic. The southern
             Location: Central Asia                                                                                                                                      be operational. It is a green city with   and northern parts of the city are
                                                                                                                                earthquake-prone location, better
             Population: 15.4 million (UN, 2005)                                                                                telecommunications and transport         modern architecture, cool fountains       located in different climatic zones.
             Capital: Astana ( 375,000 inhabitants)                                                                             infrastructure, rail links with Russia   and parks. Situated in the southern       The temperature may rise or fall 10°
             Largest city: Almaty (over 1 mln inhabitants)                                                                      and availability of undeveloped land     part of the country, it enjoys a beau-    to 15°C within 24 hours.
                                                                                                                                for the city’s development among its     tiful setting between mountains and        It is possible to visit five climatic
             Area: 2.7 million sq km (1 million sq miles)
                                                                                                                                advantages.                              plains with spectacular mountain          zones within a day or less while
             Population Density: 5.5 per sq km                                                                                                                           views.                                    traveling around the Almaty region.
             Major languages: Kazakh, Russian
             Major religions: Islam, Christianity
             Life expectancy: 58 years (men), 69 years (women)                                                                  Social profile
             Monetary unit: 1 Kazakh tenge = 100 tiyn
                                                                                                                                Population                               indicates a high level of respect.        Chai-Khana (tea-rooms) where visi-
             GNI per capita: US $2,930 (World Bank, 2006)
                                                                                                                                Ethnically it is a diverse country,      Kazakhs do not object receiving           tors may sip this Kazakh specialty. It
             Main exports: Oil, ferrous and nonferrous                    Time zones: Central Zone: GMT + 5, Western            with the Kazakhs comprising over         uninvited guests, that is why when        is drunk very strong with cream.
             metals, machinery, chemicals, grain, wool, meat, coal        Zone: GMT + 4                                         53% of the population, the Russians      you come to a Kazakh home unex-           Almaty is renowned for its apples
             Largest trading partners: The Russian Federation,            Internet domain: .kz                                  covering just over a quarter, with       pectedly you will be treated as if you    – indeed the city was named after
             China, Germany, the US and Italy                             International dialling code: +7                       smaller minorities of Ukrainians,        were invited.                             them.
                                                                                                                                Germans, Chechens, Kurds, Koreans
                                                                                                                                and Central Asian ethnic groups ac-      National cuisine
                                                                                                                                counting for the rest.                   In general Kazakhs prefer meat
         Geography
                                                                                                                                                                         dishes. A favourite national dish is
         A huge country covering a territory     of Kizilkum, while in the southeast    132 m below sea-level in western        Language                                 beshbarmak. It is cooked
         equivalent to the whole of Western      of the country the mountains of        Kazakhstan (Karahay hollow, east of     The official state language is Kazakh,   lamb, horse meat,
         Europe,                                 the Tian Shan and the Altai form a     the Caspian Sea).                       a Turkic language closely related to     beef and dough.
         five times the size of France and       great natural frontier with thou-      The climate is continental and          Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Turk-         Such horse
         half the size of the USA. Kaza-         sands of lakes and rivers. About       fairly dry with cold winters and hot    ish. Russian is utilized as a second     meat dishes
         khstan is the ninth largest in the      300 glaciers are located in the        summers. The hottest month is July      official and for international com-      as kazy,
         world and the second largest state      mountains. The Aral Sea and Lake       (August in mountain regions). As        munication. The Cyrillic alphabet        karta, zhal,
         in the Commonwealth of Independ-        Balkhash are the country’s largest     summers are ferociously hot and         is in general use. English is usually    zhaya and,
         ent States (CIS).                       expanses of water.                     winters bitterly cold, spring (April    spoken by those involved in tourism      of course, kumys
         90 per cent of the country com-         The highest point of Kazakhstan is     to June) and autumn (September                                                   (mare’s milk) are favour-
         prises of steppes, the sand massifs     7.010 meters above sea-level (Khan     to October) are the best seasons to     Traditions and customs                   ites. A medicinal drink kumys
         of the Kara Kum and the vast desert     Tengry Peak). The lowest point is      visit.                                  Kazakhs are very hospitable and like     (mare’s milk) has curative qualities
                                                                                                                                to welcome visitors. When greeting       and effects and is used for the treat-
                                                                                                                                a guest, the host gives him/her both     ment of lung and gastro-intestinal
                                                                                                                                hands depicting they are unarmed.        disorders. Cafes where this can be
         Economy                                                                                                                When addressing a guest or elder,        ordered are called Kumis-Khana. In
         Kazakhstan has vast mineral             lead, aluminum, uranium. Stone,        the greatest ecological disasters of    a Kazakh may address them using          the steppe and desert regions where
         resources and enormous economic         such as marble and granite, is quar-   recent times, resulting from inef-      a shortened form of their name,          camels are bred, their milk, called
         potential.                              ried in large quantities. The coun-    ficient irrigation projects – causing   adding the suffix ‘ke’. For exam-        shubat, is offered to guests.
         The country’s main assets are its       try’s industries are predominantly     severe shrinkage of the heavily pol-    ple, Abkhan may be called Abeke,         Kazakh tea or chai is very popular
         huge and largely untapped oil and       geared towards processing these        luted Aral Sea.                         Nursultan can be called Nureke. This     and there are national cafes called
         gas fields, which may match those       raw materials.                         Since independence, Kazakhstan
         of Kuwait in volume.                    Agriculture still accounts for half    has joined the IMF, World Bank
         Since independence, there has been      the economic output. The country       and the European Bank for Recon-
         major foreign investment in the         produces meat and grain. However,      struction and Development, and
                                                                                                                                Political structure:
         Caspian oil sector. Oil development     one of the consequences of exten-      has signed a partnership and co-        Kazakhstan is a presidential republic.   The parliament consists of two cham-
         has brought rapid economic growth,      sive cultivation has been the exces-   operation agreement with the EU.        Head of State: President Nursultan A.    bers, Senate and Mazhilis (the lower
         which saw GDP increase by around        sive demand on water supplies, in      It also belongs to the main regional    Nazarbayev, has been in office since     chamber).
         9 per cent annually since 2000.         particular Kazakhstan’s rivers and     economic co-operation venture,          1991. Elections in December 2005         Head of the Government: is the Prime
         Kazakhstan also enjoys large            those of its neighbour Uzbekistan.     the Central Asian Economic Union        returned Mr Nazarbayev for a further     Minister, Karim Masimov.
         reserves of coal, copper, iron, zinc,   This was the major basis of one of     (ECO).                                  seven-year term.

[ 08 ]   kazakhstanfinance | autumn 2007                                                                                                                                                                                kazakhstanfinance | autumn 2007     [ 09 ]

								
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