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 to Astana in 2006. 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. U.S.-Kazakhstani cooperation in security and nuclear non-proliferation is a cornerstone of the relationship, as evidenced by Kazakhstan’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summits in Washington, DC (2010), Seoul (2012) and The Hague (2014).
U.S. Assistance to Kazakhstan
U.S. Government assistance to Kazakhstan focuses on combating transnational threats (trafficking in persons, narcotics, terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction materiel), improving the functioning of the judiciary, promoting an increased public role for civil society and mass media, maintaining Kazakhstan’s open 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 86th largest trading partner of the United States, with a total of $1.3 billion in two-way trade in 2017. 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. In 2001, Kazakhstan and the United States established the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership. 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.