Kazakhstan has a varied economy, with a large oil and gas sector
Kazakhstan is important to world energy markets because of its rich oil and gas reserves. With ample export opportunities, Kazakhstan could become one of the world's largest oil producers and exporters within the next decade. However, Kazakhstan's strategic goal is to become a modern, diversified, high value-added, high-tech economy closely integrated with the world economy. The main driver of Kazakhstan's economic growth has been foreign investment, mainly in the country's booming oil and gas industry. Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan has received more than $30 billion in foreign direct investment, the highest per capita figure in the former Eastern Bloc.
Kazakhstan has a diverse geography with many mountain ranges
Kazakhstan has diverse natural landscapes: there are deserts or semi-deserts in the southwest, mountains are natural attractions in central, eastern and southeastern Kazakhstan, and the northern part of the republic is mainly grasslands and forest steppes. The diversity of Kazakhstan's landforms and topography is due to its location in the deepest part of the vast Eurasian continent, home to countless landmarks in Earth's geological history. The southern latitude regions in the temperate zone are dominated by grasslands, deserts and semi-deserts, with abundant sunshine and relatively little precipitation.
Kazakhstan has a temperate climate with four seasons
Kazakhstan has a dry continental climate with four distinct seasons. The weather in Almaty is very mild, and consecutive rainy days are rare. Winter temperatures and snowfall are minimal (i.e., rarely below 0°F) and winds are minimal. During the summer months of April-May, the average high temperature is usually in the mid 80s Fahrenheit. "Golden Autumn" is perhaps the most pleasant time of year, especially in Almaty, with crisp, clear, dry days, colorful autumn leaves, and comfortable temperatures. On the territory of Kazakhstan, you can experience all four seasons of cold winter, blooming spring, hot summer and scarlet autumn. The cold winter starts in November and lasts until the end of April. The influence of arctic air masses causes severe cold (down to -50°C). Spring is short and varied - from mid-April to late May. Also, the weather in spring is very erratic: a sunny, warm day can suddenly turn cold. The dry, hot summer starts at the end of May and lasts until mid-September, with temperatures sometimes rising to +35...+40 °C. Autumn begins in late September and lasts until early November with stable weather and night frosts.