Kazakhstan. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Kazakhstan is 18,776,718 people in 2020. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) warned at the beginning of the year that the Balchas Lake in eastern Kazakhstan could dry out in the same way as the Aral Sea. Lake Balchasj is Central Asia’s second largest lake, but according to media reports in Kazakhstan, its area has decreased by over 2,000 km 2. The reason is mainly overuse. The lake receives most of its water from the Ili River, which flows to Kazakhstan from China, where water use is growing rapidly in line with economic development.
During the year, the construction of an approximately 300 km long oil pipeline to China was underway. The pipeline will allow Kazakhstan to export oil from the rich deposits in the Caspian Sea to China’s growing energy market. At the same time, Kazakhstan announced plans for a multi-hundred-mile railway line, which will provide faster transportation from China to Europe.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 478,600,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||4.00%|
|GDP per capita||$ 26,300|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||5.3%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||1.40%|
|Investment volume||31.4% of GDP|
|National debt||20.80% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 31,440,000,000|
Three opposition parties in Kazakhstan met during a summer in a bloc before the parliamentary elections in September: Kazakhstan’s democratic elections, the Luminous Path (Ak Zhol) and the Communist Party. Their main goal was a decentralization of power gathered in the hands of President Nazarbayev. But the media concentrated its watch on President Otan’s party and on the newly formed party Asar, led by the president’s daughter. According to official results, the president’s party received more than 60% of the vote, Ak Zhol just over 12% and Asar just over 11%. The OSCE election observers stated that the election did not meet international requirements. Among other things, that the media was biased in their coverage during the election campaign. The only opposition politician in the government, Information Minister Altynbek Sarsenbajev, resigned on the grounds that there had been electoral fraud.
In November, two explosive charges were triggered in the presidential party Otan’s premises in Kazakhstan’s largest city Alma-Ata. The Otan leadership claimed that the attacks were intended to create instability in Kazakhstan, and the opposition feared that the regime would use them as a pretext to strengthen its grip on the country’s political life.