After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan became an independent country on December 16, 1991. Significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy marked the early years of this newly formed country. Later, Kazakhstan made noteworthy progress toward developing a strong economy.
Since 2000, the country has been experiencing significant growth in all sectors with the help of oil, gas, and minerals reserves. Due to strong economic conditions, Kazakhstan repaid all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2000, 7 years ahead of schedule, and became the first former Soviet republic to do so. In September 2002, Kazakhstan received an investment-grade credit rating from an international credit rating agency and became the first country in the CIS to achieve that goal.
Kazakhstan has the most significant wealth and financial system in Central Asia. It has got an extensive area of fossil fuel reserves along with minerals and metals. The industrial sector of Kazakhstan lays itself on the extraction and processing of natural resources. The construction division also plays a vital role in the country's economy. Producer of crude oil and natural gas condensate, Kazakhstan has got the world's 11th biggest reserve for oil and natural gas. With the help of the expansion of oil production and the development of new oil fields, Kazakhstan is trying hard to achieve the rank of the world's top 10 oil-producing nations. The banking system of Kazakhstan is also developing rapidly. The National Bank of Kazakhstan is helping to strengthen the banking sector of the country.
The country's massive steppe land is used for agricultural production and livestock. Rice, wheat, barley, and cotton are the main crops, and dairy products, meat, leather, and wool form the major livestock products of the country. The southern mountains grow a lot of apples and walnuts.
Kazakhstan has got the second largest uranium, chromium, lead, and zinc reserve, the third largest manganese reserve, and the fifth-largest copper reserve in the world. Kazakhstan is one of the leading exporters of uranium globally, while the other significant exports of the country include wheat, textile, and livestock. The country also places itself in the top ten rankings for gold, iron, and coal. It possesses the biggest market of silver, zinc, and nickel in West Asia.