Legal Market Overview
Kazakhstan is centred around two capitals: one current and one former. Having been capital from 1929 to 1997, Almaty is by far the country’s largest city, and still holds the headquarters of many businesses and law firms. In 1997, the capital was moved to Akmola, which was renamed Astana the following year, and subsequently renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019, after President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned; many firms retain ‘Astana’ in their name or information.
Kazakhstan has of late been the subject of a degree of geopolitical interest, thanks to its rare earth metal deposits. The country has had a long track record of association with Russia, with Russian troops having been deployed as part of a CSTO peacekeeping mission to the country following riots in early 2022 which have been projected by some against a backdrop of disagreement between new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Nazarbaev-era figures. With the CSTO having left without firing a shot (according to some reports), Nazabayev was removed as head Security Council of Kazakhstan and leader of the Amanat party.
The economy of Kazakhstan is largely focused on energy, particularly oil and gas, as a result of the nation’s large oil reserves. Having stagnated somewhat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy sector is returning to pre-pandemic levels of activity.