With its huge reserves of oil, gas and other minerals, Kazakhstan has been Central Asia’s leading destination for foreign investment since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has attracted global players to some of the world’s most significant exploration projects and, prior to the 2008 financial crisis, was a regional leader in financial services reform. Although other sectors have traditionally been less attractive to foreign investors, a push for economic diversification and regional development, together with greater demand for foreign technological expertise, will entail greater opportunities in the years to come. Kazakhstan’s strategic location on the Silk Road, positioned between China and Europe, is also expected to make it an increasingly prominent regional transport and logistics hub.

While Kazakhstan is one of the more politically and economically stable of the Central Asian states, to the unprepared investor it presents risks common to its more unpredictable neighbours. Chief among these is the uncertainty over the presidential succession, and with it the associated risks of political instability that a disputed transition might entail, particularly given the close links between political and business elites. Widespread corruption and the inconsistent application of rules and regulations also feature prominently among investors’ concerns.

From its offices in Moscow and London, Control Risks has been helping clients to navigate Kazakhstan’s business environment for more than 20 years. Our team of political risk analysts, business intelligence consultants, and security and crisis management experts regularly support companies doing business in Kazakhstan and the wider region. This may include comprehensive market-entry assessments, complex fraud investigations, evacuation planning, and other services that help clients seize business opportunities in the country while mitigating operational risks and resolving difficulties when these arise.

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