Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States, on December 25, 1991, was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence. The United States opened its Embassy in Almaty in January 1992 and then relocated in 2006 to Astana (renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019) . The United States opened a Consulate General in Almaty in 2009. In the years since Kazakhstan’s independence, the two countries have developed a strong and wide-ranging bilateral relationship, and agreed on an enhanced strategic partnership at a Summit of Presidents Trump and Nazarbayev in January 2018.
U.S. Assistance to Kazakhstan
U.S. government assistance to Kazakhstan focuses on combating transnational threats (trafficking –in-persons, narcotics, terrorism, and proliferation of WMD materiel), supporting the development of the the judicial system and law enfor5cement, promoting an increased public role for civil society and mass media, improving Kazakhstan’s investment and trade environment, helping the government provide effective social services, and supporting Kazakhstan’s efforts to increase its production of low-cost clean energy.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Kazakhstan is the 81st largest trading partner of the United States, with a total of $2 billion in two-way trade in 2019. U.S. firms have invested tens of billions of dollars in Kazakhstan, concentrated in the oil and gas sector. Kazakhstan has made some progress in creating a favorable investment climate, although serious problems remain, including corruption and arbitrary enforcement of laws and contracts. A U.S.-Kazakhstan Bilateral Investment Treaty and a Treaty on the Avoidance of Dual Taxation have been in place since 1994 and 1996, respectively. Kazakhstan became a member of the World Trade Organization on November 30, 2015. The U.S. Commercial Service provides support to U.S. businesses trying to enter the Kazakhstani market through counseling, market research, and a matchmaker program with Kazakhstani businesses.