Sanctions reciprocation and ruble trouble affect Kazakhstan16 april 2015, 20:11
Kazakhstan is suffering from the anti-Russian sanctions and ruble devaluation that has occurred following the crisis in Ukraine, a Tengrinews correspondent reports citing the director of Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev.
According to the political analyst, the events taking place in the neighbouring countries, may affect the economic and political situation in Kazakhstan. Due to the slowdown in the Russian economy and the sanctions, there is a decline in demand for Kazakh raw materials from industrial enterprises in Russia.
According to experts, in the first half of 2014 alone exports of steel products decreased by 16 percent. In particular, aluminum exports declined by 26 percent, while those of copper - by as much as 93 percent.
Satpayev added that, according to the National Bank, more than 18 percent of enterprises in Kazakhstan were experiencing a negative impact from the weakening of the ruble and the influx of cheap Russian products. Estimates of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan show that seven percent of domestic companies were forced to send their employees on indefinite unpaid leaves.
Nevertheless, there might be some positive aspects to the current situation. Satpayev said that one could expect a relative improvement of the investment climate in Kazakhstan. This is due to the fact that Kazakhstan is second only to Russia in this respect among the CIS countries. So, seeing problems in Russia, investors will shift their attention to Kazakhstan.
At the same time, the situation may turn out bad for the Central Asia economy due to the fact that Russia is Kazakhstan's primary trade partner. Some experts predict a “Titanic effect” by which a strong player, like Russia, drags down all its integration partners, including Kazakhstan.
Reporting by Dmitray Khegai, writing by Dinara Urazova