Economic Relations between Kazakhstan and Russia

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Beginning in the second half of 1994, certain positive changes began to occur: a decline in the rate of inflation, a growth in accumulation of capital, a stabilization in the exchange rate of the national currency, a decline in the banks' interests rates, and a relative growth in industrial production.

The rate of inflation steadily declined from 4.9 in June 1994 to 3.2 percent in April 1995. The decline in production, which sharply Increased in November 1993 through March 1994, practically, ceased in some branches in 1994. As a result, industry as a whole grew by 0.3 percent in September, by 1.1 percent in December, and by 1.2 percent in April. As distinct from the previous years, a certain stabilization of production, which began in June 1994, was accompanied by a certain slowing down rather than acceleration of inflation.

The rate of price growth in the production and consumption sectors of the economy in 1995 slowed down. The highest inflation occurred in January (an increase of 108.9 percent compared to the previous month), and the lowest, in August (102.1 percent). The annual index of consumer prices throughout the republic was estimated at 160 percent (the monthly index, 104.3 percent, whereas the annual index of inflation of consumer prices in 1994 amounted to 1256 percent, which corresponds to a monthly inflation rate of 123.4 percent. (The annual index of production prices was at the level of 141.2 percent).

The positive dynamics in the consumer and wholesale prices was achieved above all by harsh financial and credit policies and the government's measures aimed at stage by stage liberalization of prices and tariffs for commodities and services, which resulted hi a sharp reduction in the range of regulated prices. At the beginning of 1996, only the prices of electric power, heating, gas, passenger and freight railway traffic were regulated, and at the local level, regulation involved prices" and tariffs of communal services and the services of urban passenger transport.

In 1995, the monetary and credit policies were characterized by changes in the monetary and credit instruments of the National Bank, its operations at the inter bank credit, currency, and stock markets, and the development of the market of state securities. Whereas hi 1994 and January 1995 the principal instruments were centralized and auction credits, in 1995 the emphasis shifted from state-apportioned credits to the development of securities markets and auction credits.

The primary market of state treasury bonds actively began to develop. The volume of trading on this market is steadily growing, with demand exceeding supply. Toward the end of 1995, 4.3 billion tenge's worth of treasury bonds had been issued. In September 1995, pawnshop credits were introduced, with state treasury bonds as collateral.

The National Bank's average refinancing rate went from 210 percent in January to 52.5 percent in December 1995. This reduction was made possible by a considerable alleviation'' of the inflation situation.

The weighted average percentage rate for auction credits amounted in 1994 to 292.61 percent; during ten months of 1995, it went down to 103.29 percent, and in October 1995 it stabilized at the 52.56 percent level.

In 1995, the reduction in production output amounted to eight percent. Production output fell at 44 percent of enterprises. Of the 220 most important kinds of industrial products, production of 48 kinds increased and that of 167, decreased. It should be noted at the same time that hi 1995 decline in production was overcome, and there was an increase in production compared to the previous year in electric power production, metallurgy, and in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

In 1995, the policy of liberalization of foreign trade activity continued; distribution of export quotas was completely eliminated, and the list of licensed export products was considerably reduced. Kazakhstan traded with 124 states of near and far abroad.

In the framework of official aid for development, Kazakhstan received a number of credits to the tune of $1.3 billion from international financial organizations and individual donor countries.

One of the main types of foreign resources for the republic was direct investment, in particular the setting up of joint ventures and foreign enterprises. The rate of establishment of joint ventures in Kazakhstan is fairly high. Thus, at the end: of 1990 there were just 15 of them, while at the end of 1995 more than 2000. JVs operated in the republic, of which 500 operated on foreign capital only. Most of these were set up in the; mining industries.

: 18/07/2008