World news story

Huge opportunities for UK exporters identified in Kazakhstan

Joint FCO / UKTI campaign leads to £1.5 billion of contract wins for British business in Kazakhstan during 2013.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nazarbayev

Kazakhstan is an emerging economic power which is rapidly joining the ranks of the world’s leading oil exporters. It is predicted that production from the super giant Kashagan field will soon catapult Kazakhstan - which sits on 3% of global recoverable reserves - into the ranks of the world’s top 10 oil producers.

Starting in summer 2013, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) achieved a step change for UK businesses in our commercial engagement. A visit by the Prime Minister in July 2013 has galvanized a concerted effort to identify the enormous opportunities which Kazakhstan offers and help deliver them to UK businesses.

UK export success

The Prime Minister’s visit itself delivered business deals worth more than £700 million with a further £915 million won since then. Among these were wins for:

  • Rolls Royce (energy) worth £110 million to supply equipment and services to the Asian gas pipeline

  • up to £60 million worth of satellite and space equipment from Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

The momentum has been maintained with a regular flow of trade delegations in both directions. This included:

  • a large delegation of Kazakh companies to Aberdeen last September to encourage the formation of UK/Kazakh SME joint ventures in the oil and gas sector

  • a delegation of homeland security companies visiting Kazakhstan in October 2013 for the first time


It is not only the oil and gas sector which offers opportunities to UK companies. As Kazakhstan invests heavily in the diversification of its economy, prospects are extremely good across a wide range of sectors. Consequently UKTI has identified Kazakhstan for our High Value Opportunities programme in energy, education and infrastructure as follows:

  • Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry offers a wide range of opportunities to qualified UK companies which also meet local content requirements. The oil, petrochemical and chemical industries and equipment manufacturing, in particular offer potential

  • UKTI Education have identified significant opportunities in English language training and assessment, Vocational Education, Continuous professional development (CPD) and Oil and gas training. This will be supported by an allocation of £2 million from the new fund to support science and innovation partnerships with Emerging Powers

  • There are a number of international events which Kazakhstan will host in the next 5 years, including Expo 2017, Student Winter Games and their bid for the Winter Olympics in 2022. Expo 2017 in particular will transform much of the capital city, Astana. This presents major opportunities in infrastructure development drawing on UK expertise from the London Olympics, as well as renewable/green energy, security, financing and smart city development

Continuing engagement

An Intergovernmental Commission was launched in October 2013 by the then Minister for Trade, Lord Green to maintain a strong Ministerial engagement with this work. The Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister with 75 UK and Kazakh businesses attended the ceremony in the Locarno Room at the Foreign Office in London.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science also attended prior to visiting Kazakhstan in November to promote opportunities in science, research and education. This high level engagement continues to develop into 2014.


Contact UKTI’s team if you are looking to develop your business in Kazakhstan:

Department for International Trade Kazakhstan

Building Business Centre Renko, 6 floor
62 Kosmonavtov street


Published 27 January 2014