No. 1 – September 2012
Author: IsAG – Programma Eurasia
World Economic Forum
Kazakhstan’s economic environment is making significant steps forward, and the country is affirming itself
as one of the most competitive economy in the region. The World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global
Competitiveness report has ranked Kazakhstan 51 in a range of144 countries in the world.
The report, first published in 2005, bases its analysis on a comprehensive definition of competitiveness,
which includes political and human development elements together with micro and macro economic
aspects. Competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level
ofproductivity ofa country.
According to this analysis, Kazakhstan moved back up to a position similar to the one it held few years
ago, 51/144, climbing 21 positions from last year when it positioned 72th. While the overall outlook on
world competitiveness seems fragile, Kazakhstan shows to have done most significant improvements
among other countries assessed in the report.
Data show that this positive result as been driven by a significant improvements in key areas such as
technological readiness, which advanced from 87th to 55th, and most significantly by a good
macroeconomic environment, ranked 16th in the world classificatory, labor market efficiency (19th) and
high education and training (55th). Investments in the country are eased by the low level ofcrime and theft
and by a stable political environment and government. Improvements, which mostly involved efficiency
enhancer factors, mark the firm advance of the country from an efficiency-driven economy to an
innovation-driven one. In the same group there are other 20 countries, among which, Russia Federation,
Turkey, Argentina, Brazil. Further progress will be measured against the country’s capacity to make
improvement in those areas meaningful to prepare to the next stage, such as health and primary education,
business sophistication, and innovation, which however remain reasons of concern. Although Kazakistan,
according to EWF’s report is doing better than Russian Federation and Republic ofKyrgyzstan (the only
two other countries in the Region covered by the report), it still shows very limited progresses in these
areas in which it ranks respectively 92th, 99th, 103th.