No. 57 – October 2015
Authors: Alessandro Lundini, Sara Silvi
The aim of the report is to illustrate and analyze Kazakhstan’s new economic policy Nurly Zhol, announced by President Nazarbayev during last November’s address to the nation. It is a counter-cyclical plan adopted in order to overcome the difficult current economic environment, marked by the fall of oil price and the devaluation of tenge. Its measures concern some of the national economy’s strategic sectors, especially transport and industrial infrastructure, logistics, SMEs support, subsidized housing. The results of policy’s implementation, at its initial stage, appear to be conflicting, due to state budget cuts, which risk to neutralize the effects on growth expected with these massive investments. However, the plan can fulfill its aims in relation to the stability of unemployment rate and, at the same time, the development of fundamental projects in industrial and infrastructural sectors, consistent with the country’s main strategic plans. The report includes a focus on the agriculture of Kazakhstan and the transition to a “green economy” model. In the northern and central soils of the Republic wheat is extensively sown from the Soviet times, while minor areas are devoted to others crops. More than 75% of all agricultural land is used for grazing, traditional activity of the country. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the wheat area began to rapidly shrink at the rate of nearly 2 million hectares per year, as the stockbreeding did. Nowadays, after the end of the deep crisis, the agricultural sector has recovered, but still suffers from many diseases. The government needs to improve the wheat and the livestock productivity, diversify agricultural production and reduce the crops’ dependence on drought. At the same time, Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector offers several occasion of investment for the creation of technological facilities for food processing and encourages a business support environment to boost the domestic production. Major oil and gas producer, endowed with abundant reserves of hydrocarbons, Kazakhstan faces today the risks of a fossil fuel-dependent economy. To diversify the economic activity and protect the stressed environment, the Kazakh government has set out measures to develop an eco-friendly power sector, taking advantage of the country’s enormous potential in renewable energies. Solar insulation, wind energy, hydro and geothermic power, biomass and bio-gas would be an alternative sourced of energy. With an ambitious and complex plan the authorities aim at “clean and green” the economy in the next decades. Kazakhstan will soon go renewable.