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Kazakhstan Corruption

Kazakhstan: Corruption and Stability?

kazaKazakhstan is the most economically prosperous of the former Soviet Republics. Along with economic growth, however, has come significant corruption.

Much of Kazakhstan’s growth has been due to its vast supply of natural resources, especially oil. The Kazakhstan government has kept tight control of the oil supply and government officials have benefited from its enormous oil wealth. Kazakhstan is ranked the same as Russia — 133 out of 185 for 2012 CPI ratings.

While the government wants to institute a number of important economic reforms, corruption has been a major obstacle to implementing these reforms. Businesses entering Kazakhstan are frequently faced with serious corruption risks, especially in the oil sector. Several prominent oil companies have settled FCPA charges for bribing Kazakh officials to obtain oil and gas contracts.kaza4 In addition, the government bureaucracy is frustrating to deal with because of long delays, frequent business inspections and corrupt government officials. Government workers treat business services as vehicles for personal gain.

Some senior officials even take ownership interest in oil industry private ventures Their ownership interests are masked through elaborate schemes of corporate ownership using multi-layers of corporate interests and nominees who are figureheads of businesses.

In addition, the country suffers from corrupt mid-level and lower-level government workers responsible for customs enforcement and regulation for exports and imports. The judiciary, police, land registration and construction projects are all rife with corrupt officials.

Despite these major difficulties, Kazakhstan’s economy continues to grow and foreign investment flows into the country. Kazakhstan’s anti-corruption agency, the Financial Police, has adopted a four-year plan to reduce corruption in the government.

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