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Kazakhstan must do more to convince foreign investors

Privatization drive confronts wariness about state intentions

| Mongolia, Central Asia, Afghanistan
State-owned Kazatomprom is the world's largest uranium producer.

The latest drive by Kazakhstan to privatize many of its state-owned companies and reduce the government's role in the economy is off to a better start than previous efforts.

Yet the efforts by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to modernize the resource-rich former Soviet republic's economy will face crucial tests in the months ahead as attention turns to the most high-profile companies, including flag carrier Air Astana and Kazatomprom, the world's largest uranium producer. Investors remain scarred by previous experiences with state-backed companies and will need reassurance on policy continuity as the nation's founding president enters his twilight years.

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