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Kazakh-Austrian Economic Relations - Digitization, Housing and the New Silk Road

Published: February 11, 2019; 20:25 · (Vindobona)

After the oil price collapse and the significant currency devaluation thereafter, the economic downturn has bottomed out and the Kazakh economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. For 2018, the Kazakh government again expects growth of +4%. The country's priority economic tasks include digitization, housing construction and the New Silk Road Project.

Kazakh-Austrian Economic Relations - Digitization, Housing and the New Silk Road / Picture: © Kazakh and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona.org

According to a study by the Foreign Trade Center in Almaty of the WKO Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, Kazakhstan produced 86.2 million tons of oil (+10.55) in 2017.

A further increase to 87 million tonnes is expected for 2018.

In the first half of the year, production rose by 6.2% to a total of 45.2 million tonnes.

According to the National Bank, the NPLs of Kazakh banks totalled 8.8% of the loan portfolio in the first half of 2018.

However, experts assume that the figure will be higher.

Over the past few years, a total of USD 9.1 billion from government sources has been spent on restructuring the sector.

Nevertheless, some medium-sized banks are struggling with liquidity problems.

The consolidation of the Kazakh banking sector continued in 2017 with the merger of Kazkommertsbank and Halyk Bank.

In the summer of 2018, Astana Bank's license was revoked by the Kazakh National Bank due to systematic non-compliance with its contractual obligations for disbursements and transactions.

Economic relations with Austria

In 2017, Austrian exports grew strongly by +14.9% to EUR 148.9 million.

This represented an important trend reversal, as export figures fell continuously since the economic downturn in 2014 and currency devaluations.

In the first half of 2018, however, Austrian exports fell again by -14.46%.

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