Promote Innovation to Improve Post-Pandemic Recovery in Kazakhstan — ADB

News Release | 29 April 2021

NUR-SULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN (29 April 2021) — Kazakhstan’s economic growth is forecast to rebound this year and accelerate in 2022, if the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) continues to subside and there are no delays to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program, said a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021, ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, projected Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 3.2% in 2021, supported by recovering commodity output and prices, and reflecting a gradual resumption of most services. In 2022, growth is forecast to rise to 3.5%, supported by larger investments and rising hydrocarbon production and manufacturing.

“Boosting investment in research and development, strengthening the financial system, particularly capital markets, and increasing public spending on education are essential for promoting innovation,” said ADB Country Director for Kazakhstan Nariman Mannapbekov. “This will help to sustain stronger economic growth.”

The report noted that Kazakhstan’s dependence on commodity exports and limited innovation made the economy vulnerable to external shocks. The experience of recent crises shows that Kazakhstan needs to foster innovation to improve its economic resilience and drive the recovery from COVID-19. After the 2008–2009 global financial crisis and the 2015 oil price plunge, the Kazakh economy rebounded but growth was slower.

The report forecast that industry will expand by 2.0% in 2021, benefitting from continued government support for manufacturing, and by 2.8% in 2022 as mining picks up to meet recovering global demand for commodities. As transport, trade, and catering benefit from continuous lifting of lockdown measures, services are projected to rebound by 3.8% in 2021 before tapering to 3.4% in 2022.

Construction is forecast to expand by 9.4% in 2021 supported by state housing and infrastructure programs, and by 6.6% in 2022. In agriculture, growth is forecast at 3.3% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022, reflecting limited investment prospects.

Inflation is projected to decelerate slightly to 6.5% in 2021 and 6.2% in 2022 thanks to a more stable currency. Price controls for staple goods and the central bank’s inflation targeting efforts are expected to trim food price inflation and maintain price stability.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.