Although its origins are ancient and its strategic position has made it a major step along the Silk Road, the foundation of the city itself dates back only to the nineteenth century. It was mainly thanks to Russians, who conquered the region at that time, that Almaty acquired its importance as a large urban and economic center of the region. Today the architecture and population of Almaty, located on the slopes of the mountains in the southeast of the country, are still a prove of this historical legacy. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the declaration of independence of Kazakhstan in late 1991, Almaty continued being the capital of the country as it had been under the Russian control. Then in 1998 the government chose to create a new power center in the middle of the country. However, the city has maintained its economic primacy and remains not only the main financial center of the country, but also an economic hub more and more important in Central Asia. The objective for Almaty is to become a modern, international and efficient urban center, organized with an attentive eye on the quality of life of its citizens, modern transportation, services and universities. Here's where the major companies of the country, which in turn is emerging as a new regional power in the oil, gas and minerals sectors, have headquarters and financial offices. Meruert Makhmutova, director of the Public Policy Research Center for Economic Studies, addresses in this interview the issue of economic growth of Kazakhstan and the impact that this is having on the city of Almaty.

Interview with Meruert Makhmutova

Between China and the Caspian Sea

Interview with Alessandro Colla