Kazakhstan Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 24, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

From the point of view of international trade, Kazakhstan mainly exports raw materials (oil, unprocessed minerals, agricultural primary production, especially grain), imports products with higher added value (machines, etc.). Income from oil production creates space for financing imports, among other things, for the purpose of modernizing the local economy.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Kazakhstan, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

Trade relations with the EU

As in previous years, in 2021, the EU was the most important trade partner of KZ with a value of USD 30 billion and a share of the country’s total foreign trade of 29.6%. According to the Kazakh Statistical Committee, the largest trading partners of the CC are Italy (USD 9.6 billion), the Netherlands (USD billion) and France (USD 3.0 billion). Significantly higher exports to the EU consist almost exclusively of oil and natural gas, minerals, chemicals and food products. EU countries mainly export machines, transport equipment and pharmaceutical products to the CC. For KZ, the EU is also an important investment partner.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (billion USD) 5.73 6.64 6.69 6.52 5.96
EU imports (billion USD) 24,27 31.02 24.83 18.34 24.11
Balance with the EU (billion USD) -18.54 -24.38 -18.14 -11.82 -18.15

Source: stat.gov.kz

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Mutual trade between the Czech Republic and the Czech Republic is around USD 1 billion per year. The trade turnover is significantly dominated by the import of mineral raw materials (especially oil – in 2021 the 2nd largest supplier to the Czech Republic), which is, however, dependent on world oil prices. The Czech Republic has a more diversified export to KZ (mainly machines, components, consumer goods). About 30 companies with Czech participation operate in KZ, many Czech companies are interested in the market, which is accentuated by the current international political situation. That’s mmj. reflected by the participation of CZ companies in business missions and important fairs, especially in Nur-Sultan and Almaty.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 12 6.4 7.4 8.7 4.9
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 5 14.3 13.7 7.6 16.9
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) -7 7.9 6.3 -1.1 12

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Mutual trade with countries outside the EU is characterized by a balanced structure with a slight dominance of Kazakh exports. Russia, China, Turkey, Uzbekistan and EU countries (IT, NL) can be included among the largest trading partners of KZ in 2021.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from non-EU countries (billion USD) 23.86 27.01 33.01 36.4 35.21
Imports to non-EU countries (billion USD) 24,22 30.08 33.23 29.19 36.22
Balance with non-EU countries (billion USD) -0.35 -3.07 -0.22 7.21 -1.01

Source: stat.gov.kz

Foreign direct investment

The inflow of FDI to Kazakhstan in 2021 amounted to USD 2billion, which is 38% more than in 2020. The largest volume, about 41%, of FDI goes to the oil and gas sector. Specifically, these are investments related to geological exploration, mining, transportation and processing of oil and gas. In second place is the manufacturing industry (22%), followed by investments in trade (16%), the financial sector (7%) and transport (4%). The largest foreign investors include the Netherlands (7 billion USD), the USA (billion USD), Switzerland (billion USD), Russia (billion USD) and China (billion). USD). Belgium (USD 1.06 billion) has recently joined these investors, where, thanks to favorable conditions for business, a number of Kazakh industrial and financial entities have their headquarters. Most FDI goes to regions specializing in oil and gas extraction, i.e. Atyrau, Mangistausky and West Kazakhstan. A number of large companies are investing in Kazakhstan, including Chevron (USA), QazTechna (China) and VEOL, formerly VimpelCom (Netherlands). The government of Kazakhstan has long been promoting a friendly policy towards foreign investors. More information can be found on the website of the investment agencyKAZAKHINVEST.

FDI offers opportunities for Czech entrepreneurs in a number of areas. In addition to the already mentioned investments in the oil and gas industry, investments in the processing industry or in the field of agriculture are interesting opportunities. Among the largest Czech investments in Kazakhstan are the joint venture Kazfos Czech Fosfa as and the Kazakh company Kazphosphate, as well as the activities of HomeCredit Bank.

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

From March 1, 2020, the new EU-Kazakhstan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (extended EPCA) is in force, which creates a better framework for the development of political and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the EU and for the growth of the level of trade and investment. It creates a better regulatory environment for businesses in areas such as trade in services.

Membership in other trade associations

Kazakhstan is a member of the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union and also of the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU), which was created to continue the integration of the economies of individual EaEU countries. Kazakhstan became a founding member together with the Russian Federation and Belarus. In 2015, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the EaEU. Since January 2010, the Common Customs Tariff of the Customs Union has been in force for the import of goods into the countries of the Customs Union.

In December 2015, KZ became a member of the WTO. This step meant, among other things, a reduction in customs rates for some items, for which Kazakhstan was granted an exception by the EaEU. However, goods imported into the CC at reduced customs rates cannot be re-exported to other EaEU states.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the support and mutual protection of investments (1996);
  • Treaty between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Kazakhstan on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion in the field of income and property taxes (1998);
  • Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Kazakhstan on cooperation in international road transport (2003);
  • Agreement in the field of tourism between the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan (2011); and more.

On September 8, 2004, during the official visit of President V. Klaus to Kazakhstan, the Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of Kazakhstan on Economic, Industrial and Scientific-Technical Cooperation was signed. On the basis of the above-mentioned Agreement, the Czech-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission was established in 2005 as a working body for solving current trade-economic issues of mutual cooperation. The last 11th meeting of the Commission took place in November 2021.

Developmental cooperation

The EU provides development aid to the countries of Central Asia. Since 2014, Kazakhstan ceased to be a direct recipient of EU bilateral development aid, however, a number of projects are still ongoing. Development projects in the field of infrastructure, healthcare or transport are also financed by international financial organizations, such as the EBRD (PPP projects), in which Czech companies can also participate.

From the point of view of Czech foreign development cooperation, Kazakhstan is not one of the priority territories. However, partial development aid is possible thanks to B2B projects of the Czech Development Agency with the participation of Czech companies. The aim of the B2B Program is to support the private sector in developing countries and at the same time fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Projects must demonstrate a development impact for a given region or target group (e.g. development of the business environment, involvement of local suppliers in value chains, strengthening of competitiveness, transfer of technology and know-how, creation of new and skilled jobs, environmentally acceptable technologies or introduction of production and work standards). In addition, given the number of comparative advantages of Czech implementers, it can be assumed that the Czech Republic will build on the successful activities of previous years in Kazakhstan. especially in the environmental, transport and agricultural sectors. More details on joining the B2B programHERE.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Kazakhstan is continuing the country’s industrialization programs, which is generating demand for modern equipment and technology across a range of sectors. Opportunities for Czech manufacturers exist in the sectors of agriculture, energy, transport, mining, engineering, healthcare, the military, the financial sector, consumer goods (glass, furniture, etc.) and other sectors. The Czech side also emphasizes the development of cooperation with Kazakhstan’s regions.

The interest of Czech companies in the KZ market is also reflected in the participation of Czech companies in important trade fairs in Kazakhstan, such as the agricultural fair AgriTek in Nur-Sultan (March), the health fair KIHE in Almaty (May), the defense industry fair KADEX (May, 1x 2 years ), mining equipment fair Mining Week in Karaganda (June), Kazbuild fair in Almaty (September), electricity fair Power Kazakhstan in Almaty (October), food fair WorldFood in Almaty (November), etc.

Energy industry

This area has great development potential for Czech exporters. By 2030, electricity production is expected to increase to a total of 150 billion kWh. The existing equipment is outdated, modernization is also supported by the state (see the new legislative framework adopted in 2021). There is also a new emphasis on the development of safe and environmentally friendly energies.

Water management and waste industry

Kazakhstan is a landlocked country that is fully aware of ensuring the need for quality water. Also for this reason, a new legislative framework for the environment was approved in 2021. There are opportunities for Czech companies in many areas related to water purification and treatment. There is also great potential in the field of waste processing.

Defense industry

This area is a priority for the Kazakh government. As early as 2021, President Tokayev decided that the government should develop a program to re-equip the Kazakh army. The emphasis on the need for new equipment for the armed forces and the modernization of the existing ones was strengthened especially in the wake of the riots in 2022, when it became fully apparent how topical this problem is. Despite various restrictions, this is an interesting area for the export of goods and services for Czech exporters.

Engineering industry

For Czech exporters, this is a traditional area for the direction of their products. Recently, this area has received increased interest from the Kazakh government. To illustrate, 72 new engineering projects are planned to be implemented by 2025 alone. Czech companies not only have a good name in Kazakhstan, but many of them have also implemented a significant number of orders here in the past. There is potential for modernization of these orders.


Agriculture represents a traditional area of ​​interest for Czech exports with great potential. The share of agricultural production represents of the total production of the country. In connection with the pandemic, the government of Kazakhstan realized the necessity of self-sufficiency of Kazakh agriculture. For this reason, new programs are gradually being implemented in agriculture. There are a number of options for Czech entities where they can use their products and services.


This is a sector whose importance was particularly evident in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caught Kazakhstan and its healthcare system in a state of unpreparedness. It has been shown how insufficient the existing production and import capacities are. The government has therefore prepared a plan to modernize the healthcare system until 2025.

Kazakhstan Trade