Kazakhstan reports sustained economic growth in 2017

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ASTANA (TCA) — At a Government meeting on January 11, Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov reported on the preliminary results of Kazakhstan’s socio-economic development in 2017, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reports.

Suleimenov said the main result of 2017 for the Kazakh economy was the activation of recovery processes with the country’s progressive transition to higher growth rates. According to preliminary results for 2017, GDP growth reached 4%.

The main catalysts for growth were the expansion of production, increased investment activity and gradual recovery of domestic demand. Positive external factors included higher prices for oil and metals, as well as improvement of the economic situation in the states that are the main trading partners of Kazakhstan — the EU, Russia and China. Following the results of 11 months, exports to Russia grew by 33%, to the EU — by 31%, and to China — by 34.9%.

Despite the outstripping growth of extractive industries, the sources of GDP growth were concentrated in the non-raw-material segment of the economy. Out of 4% of GDP growth, the share of non-oil sector was 60%.

The greatest growth was observed in industry at 7.1%, transport — 4.8%, communications — 3.3%, and trade — 3.2%. The fastest pace was demonstrated by the mining industry due to growth in oil production.

The manufacturing industry showed a five-year maximum growth rate of 5.1%, which was mainly facilitated by the implementation of projects within the Industrialization Map.

The Minister emphasized the rapid development of the pharmaceutical industry, whose output increased by 41.8%. The light industry increased production by 7.3% due to the launch of 9 investment projects.

The increase in demand gave an additional impetus to chemistry, metallurgy, oil refining, and the food industry, where growth was 7.2%, 5.9%, 5.1% and 4.1%, respectively.

In agriculture, growth was 2.9%: output of crops growing increased by 2.2%, livestock — by 3.9%.

The large-scale Expo-2017 exhibition in Astana last summer attracted a significant number of tourists who increased demand in the domestic market, expanding the opportunities for SMEs in the retail segments, restaurant and hotel business and the services industry.

For the first 9 months of 2017, Kazakhstan attracted more than $15.7 billion of foreign direct investment, 5.3% more than in the same period in 2016.

The country’s foreign trade turnover increased by 25.1% to $69.5 billion.

“Sustained economic growth was accompanied by an improvement in social indicators. So, for 9 months of the year, the number of employees increased by 53.1 thousand and amounted to 6.4 million people on October 1. This helped to keep unemployment at a low level of 5%,” Suleimenov said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA