Kazakhstan 2018As 2018 swiftly approaches, Menas is launching annual forecasts to help clients plan for the year ahead.

The Forecast is a new section in each of our publications, providing forward-looking analysis and assessments in these key areas:

  • Domestic politics and policy
  • Security
  • International affairs
  • Economy
  • Energy
  • Other industry

If you would like to receive the full version of The Forecast: Kazakhstan 2018 then please contact the consultancy team

The Forecast: Kazakhstan 2018


Domestic politics and policy, the overview:

President Nursultan Nazarbaev will turn 78 in July 2018: the oldest head of state in the former Soviet Union since Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov died in September 2016. The succession will remain the hottest political issue in 2018.

Security, the overview:

The main security challenge will be the return of former Islamic State (IS) fighters from Iraq and Syria. Most of IS’s surviving combatants are expected to return home.

International affairs, the overview:

Kazakhstan will stick with its multi-vector foreign policy, which involves good-neighbourly relations with Russia and China and generally feeble but friendly dialogue with southern neighbours.

Economy, the overview:

In 2018 the government will mainly focus on the new Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which it sees as a magnet for cutting-edge finance technology, traditional investment banking and more familiar but still underdeveloped Islamic and green finance.

Energy, the overview

Kazakhstan will remain a major regional energy exporter because of production from Kashagan, Tengiz and Karachaganak oil fields. Kazakhstan will export 5bcm of gas to China and also more crude oil west via the expanded Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

Other industry, the overview:

Manufacturing, agriculture, transport and technological innovation are priority areas for the next few years but energy-related investments will continue to trump them in terms of size and scale.