Republic of Kazakhstan is the major country placed in the Northern hemisphere on the juncture of two continents – Europe and Asia. In terms of square Kazakhstan ranks the 9-th place in the world, relinquishing Russia, China, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India and Australia.
Kazakhstan borders with: PRC – 1460 km, Kirghizia – 980km, Turkmenistan – 380 km, Uzbekistan – 2300 km, Russian Federation – 6467 km. Total length of the frontiers is 12 187 km including 600 km of frontier on the Caspian.
The Republic’s territory extends from the lower courses of the Volga in the west to the foothills of the Altai Mountains in the east, occupying two hour zones, from West Siberian Plain in the north to the Kyzyl Kum desert and the mountains of Tien Shan in the south.
The country's climate is distinctly continental. The average January temperature is within the limits from -19 to -4 degrees Celsius, the average temperature in July is from +19 to +26 C. The lowest temperature in winter reaches -45 C, the highest - +30 C.
Republic of Kazakhstan possesses the unique and rich biological and landscape diversity. Its natural zones are represented by landscapes from the northern deserts to alpine meadows and permanent snows.
There are 8,5 thousands large and small rivers in Kazakhstan. The largest rivers of Kazakhstan are Ural and Emba, which flow into the Caspian Sea and Syr-Darya - into the Aral Sea. Irtysh, Ishim, Tobol intersect the Republic and flow into the Arctic Ocean.
There are 48 000 large and small lakes in Kazakhstan. Among them the largest ones are Aral Sea, Balkhash, Zajsan, Alakol, Tengiz, Seletengiz. Major part of the northern and half of the eastern coastlines of Caspian Sea – the largest sea of the Earth – belongs to Kazakhstan.
Except the extraordinary and manifold natural sights Kazakhstan also possesses the huge reserves of mineral resources. Out of 105 elements of the periodic table 99 are found in Kazakhstan’s entrails, developed reserves are on 70 elements, 60 elements are involved in production. About 6 000 mineral deposits are known in Kazakhstan. Thus, in terms of the oil reserves Kazakhstan is in the top ten countries of the world. Uranium deposits discovered in Kazakhstan are at the second position in world reserves. In terms of the gold reserves Kazakhstan occupies the sixth place in the world.
According to some scientists’ calculations, the explored entrails of Kazakhstan are estimated at about $ 10 trillion.
About 15 million 620 thousand people currently live in Kazakhstan. Ethnic composition of Kazakhstan includes more than 130 groups; the largest ones are Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, etc. State language is the Kazakh language, but citizens can select the languages they consider comfortable for learning, work and communications.
Religions are Sunni Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.
Kazakhstan is a constitutional parliamentary-presidential republic.
Kazakhstan is a country with market economy. The national economy’s policy creates all the conditions for socio-economic development of the Republic. Republic of Kazakhstan has the large industrial capacity and skilled manpower; it possesses the rich mineral resources and vast farmlands.
Kazakhstan consists of five major economic regions:
Northern Kazakhstan - the high-developed grain farming, mining of iron ore and coal, machinery, production of petroleum products and ferroalloys, power generation sector.
Eastern Kazakhstan - non-ferrous metallurgy, power generation sector, machinery and forestry.
Western Kazakhstan - the largest oil and gas producing region.
Central Kazakhstan - ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, machinery, livestock.
Southern Kazakhstan - cotton, rice, wool, grain, fruit, vegetables, grapes; developed non-ferrous metallurgy, instrumentation, light and food industries, fisheries and forestry.
Currency Unit – Tenge (KZT). 1 KZT = 100 Tiins. It was introduced on November 15, 1993.
The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana
Astana – the new wonder of the world
Who said “West is West, East is East, and they will not come to be together”? There is the city in Kazakhstan, which has confuted statement seeming inviolable.
In 1997 the President of independent Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed moving the capital from Almaty to Aqmola. This decision was dictated by the important geopolitical position of the city – in the centre of Kazakhstan and Eurasian continent, - presence of the necessary transport and communication infrastructure. The existence of free land areas for urban development has played the particular role in the choice of the new capital.
In 1998 the country’s administration decided to rename the new capital - it was given the name “Astana”, which in Kazakh language means “a capital”. With giving the capital’s functions to the city, the new phase of its development has started. Astana became the centre of state, social and cultural life of the country.
Astana was built jointly
The young capital changing before our eyes is the symbol of edifying, creativity and progress of people of Kazakhstan. 71 cities of the country and 432 building companies took part in the building of Astana, 135 factories supplied construction with the building materials.
Alongside with the local firms, the new capital was being raised by Turkish, Italian, French, Swiss companies. Every year from 60 to 100 medium and large projects came into operation. The accelerated pace of construction and the nation-wide support allowed to build the updated modern city with a unique appearance and style in the steppes of Kazakhstan for 10 years.
The world's best architects built Astana
During formulation of the city’s architectural concept the President’s Nursultan’s Nazarbayev idea about giving the city an Eurasian appearance was considered. The author of the Master Plan of Astana development has become a well-known Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, the author of the projects of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, international airport in Kuala Lumphur, and the National Ethnological Museum in Osaka. Architectural complexes created by Kurokawa’s general project combine modern design and Asian tincture. This has given the city a unique appearance, and the beauty and the height of buildings in the city compete with Tokyo, New York and Dubai.
Astana became the ground of ideas for another famous architect – Britisher Norman Foster, acknowledged leader in architecture in high-tech style. Norman Foster is the architect who has built Millennium Bridge in London and the world largest airport in Beijing, renovated house of Bundestag in Berlin and Commerzbank in Frankfurt am Main - the highest skyscraper in Europe; he also has rebuilt Wembley Stadium in London, and has raised a famous tower for the Hearst Corporation in New York. Foster is the author of the project of one of the most original buildings in London - the skyscraper-cucumber Swiss Re.
In Astana Norman Foster has built the most unique house of religions in the world - the Palace of Peace. The architect’s team has also constructed a new entertainment center for the capital of Kazakhstan – “Khan Shatyr”.
Astana – the part of the “Kazakh Brand”
In July 1999 the city was awarded the UNESCO prize "City of Peace", and in 2003 it was marked by a leading global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service. The young capital became an important part of “Kazakh Brand”. And it already has all reasons to enter the top 30 best cities in the world.
The modern capital of Kazakhstan is growing and transforming, becoming more attractive for residents of Kazakhstan and foreign guests. The modern architectural style, in which the best traditions of European and Oriental culture interlaced, most fully reflects the new face of the capital as a centre of economy, politics and culture.
The urban landscape has changed in the record time, and the city is continuing to be dynamically overbuilt. The night decoration of the city has also changed - night layout of the capital, proficient lighting of buildings, street lighting lamps, garlands, colourful fountains on the Ishim River, the waterfront lights, bright windows of shops, bars and nightclubs.
Astana became the pride of a new Kazakhstan, symbol of national idea’s approval and national reunification. The future of Kazakhstan is inextricably connected with the future of Astana, which was until recently perceived as "new capital", and is now an integral part of the new image of Kazakhstan, a country aspiring to the XXI century.