Data sources: Population 1939-1999 from demoscope.ru, 2002-2008 from Kazakhstan Statistical Agency web site. Rural/urban shares 1939-1993 from statistical yearbooks, print editions, 2002-2008 from Kazakhstan Statistical Agency web site. 2009-2014 from Kazakhstan Statistical Agency web site.
As of 2003, there were discrepancies between Western sources regarding the population of Kazakhstan. United States government sources, including the CIA World Fact Book and the US Census Bureau International Data Base, listed the population as 15,340,533, while the World Bank gave a 2002 estimate of 14,858,948. This discrepancy was presumably due to difficulties in measurement caused by the large migratory population in Kazakhstan, emigration, and low population density - only about 5.5 persons per km in an area the size of Western Europe.
In June 2014 Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed into law tax concessions to promote foreign investment, including a 10-year exemption from corporation tax, an 8-year exemption from property tax, and a 10-year freeze on most other taxes. Other measures include a refund on capital investments of up to 30 percent once a production facility is in operation. In order to attract FDI, Kazakhstan lowered the tax burden for foreign investors. The corporate income tax rate dropped from 30% to 20%. The government also gradually reduced VAT from 16% in 2006 to 12% in 2009.
As of September 30, 2014, total foreign investment in Kazakhstan reached USD 211.5 billion. Of that total, net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) constituted USD 129.3 billion, with portfolio and other investments comprising the remaining USD 82.2 billion.
As of July 2015, Kazakhstan attracted $16 billion in the manufacturing industry over the past five years, which is 2.5 times more than over the previous five years. Kazakhstan put into operation four hundred new products, such as car industry, railway engineering, manufacture of basic chemical products, uranium industry, the industry of rare earth metals. The volume of new enterprises amounted to 580 billion tenge.
In June 2015 June 2016 the total number of enterprises owned by foreign investors in Kazakhstan increased by 2.3 percent and reached 9,000. 8,691 foreign companies operating in the Kazakhstan are small businesses.
As of the beginning of 2016, the World Bank invested over $6.8 billion in Kazakhstan since 1992. These funds were invested in development of roads and social infrastructure, increasing of competitiveness of SME's, education, healthcare, environment protection, etc.
In 2012, Kazakhstan conducted the first review of the OECD investment standards, which resulted in 12 recommendations on how to improve the investment climate of the country. After adopting Law on public - private partnership that extends the use of the mechanism and revising standards of intellectual property protection and the rules of attracting foreign labor, Kazakhstan started a second review of the OECD in 2016.
According to Ministry of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan, as of May 2016, attraction of foreign investment in oil refining increased by 80%, food industry - 30%, in engineering - by 7 times. The Ministry also reported that there were 200 investment projects in country worth more than $40 billion.
In mid-2016 a group of companies led by Chevron announced a $36.8 billion investment in Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field.
In the first quarter of 2016, Kazakhstan attracted $2.7 billion in foreign direct investment. The largest investor in the Kazakh economy is The Netherlands ($66 billion), followed by the United States ($26 billion) and Switzerland ($15 billion). According to the Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank, a key factor triggering the increased inflow of foreign investment is implementation of the Nurly Zhol state program that provides for the creation of favorable conditions. As of September 2016, foreign investments in the Kazakh economy totaled $5.7 billion, which is 4,8% more than during the same period of the previous year.
Summarizing 2016, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov noted that Kazakhstan attracted $20 billion of foreign direct investment during the year. The gross inflow of FDI in 2016 grew by 40% compared to 2015 and surpassed the previous record of 2008. The number of foreign businesses operating in Kazakhstan increased 25% in 2016 compared to 2015. The main recipients of FDI were the mining industry, geological exploration and processing. The top four investors include the Netherlands, the United States, Switzerland and France.
Kazakhstan introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of EAEU, OECD, Monaco, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore starting from 2017. The visa-free entry is expected to increase cooperation with investors and businesses of these countries.
Agriculture is one of Kazakhstan's most important sectors where the country seeks to attract foreign investments to boost the competitiveness of this sector of economy. To that end, KazAgro negotiated with the European Investment Bank (EIB) a 200 loan for the period of 15 years.