Atyrau, Kazakhstan

The Customs Union evolved into the Eurasian Economic Union in January 2015. During 2014, Kazakhstan’s economy was suffering by Russia’s slowing economy, falling oil prices, and problems at its Kashagan oil field. Kazakhstan devalued its currency. GDP in 2014 was $212 billion, growth rate is 4.3 % in 2014. The major sectors are – agriculture as 4.9 % of total economy – grain, potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock; industry is 29.5 % – oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials; services take 65.6 %. Labor force is 9.1 mln.; unemployment is 5.2 % in 2012. The prevailing semi desert nature in the region, make the agrarian business very weak. National trade exports: $87.25 bln. – oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal; China 15.9%, Russia 12.1%, Germany 9.5%, France 8.5%, Italy 5.3%, Greece 5.3%, Romania 5%. Trade imports: $47.56 bln. – machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs; Russia 32.2%, China 29%, Germany 5%. Debt: $157 bln. Electricity production is 90.53 bln. kWh; consumption is 80.29 bln. kWh; import 4.25 bln. kWh; export 2.93 bln. kWh; generation capacity is 17.84 GW, with 87.3 % fossil and hydro is 12.7 %. Supply and distribution of electricity sometimes is unstable because of regional dependencies. There are abundant mineral deposits in the country – approximately one-fifth of the world’s uranium reserves; gold- seventh place in the world; copper-fourth; lead, zinc-fourth; aluminum–tenth place in the world; nickel, cobalt-twelfth and seventh places in the world; iron, manganese-sixth; chromium-third in the world; coal-in top ten. Crude production is 1.63 mln. bbl/day, export is 1.36 mln. bbl/day, import is 118 000 bbl/day, reserves 30 bln. bbl. Refined production – 300 000 bbl/day, consumption – 248 000 bbl/day, export 143 000 bbl/day, import 52 000 bbl/day. Gas production is 20 bln. m3, consumption is 15.7 bln. m3, export is 11.2 bln. m3, import is 6.5 bln. m3, reserves are 2.407 trillion m3. Kashagan oil field gives high expectations to local people for prosperity. The investments, reached several billions USD, but several technical problems delayed the start of the extraction. There are large residential complexes for oil workers. There is a pipe factory investment of Chevron and other with related materials. Expectations for long lasting business with the petrol in the region, makes some big company to invest and to build local content production facilities. Around Atyrau there is several gas pump station, Chinese investment, bringing natural gas to China. The local refinery is also property of Chinese company. The airport is well maintained. The city is safe, international banks have offices. Nationalism among locals is not strong and aggressive; most of them sympathize to foreigners. English is rarely spoken. The traffic of the city is not well controlled and in pick hours the moving slows to 5-10 km/hour. The military patrols are visible in many parts of the city. Opportunities are connected to favorable relations with the biggest world power – US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and EU. All of them have big investments and interests in the local economy and Kazakhstan keeps good relations with all. Numerous big energy companies are presented there, Shell, Chevron, Total, BP, NCPOC, Lukoil, Gazprom, to name a few. Threats are mainly connected to the falling prices of oil and commodities, as those are the main contributors to the economy. The country is not affected by terrorism, or other unfavorable international situation. It keeps very strong relations with Russia, but in the same time behaves independently to important world problems. Weaknesses are as following: too much dependence on the carbon business and minerals, whose prices are unstable; in the region of Atyrau the soil is not productive, the climate is difficult and nearest big city is on several hundred kilometers, chances for diversification in near future are weak; the Caspian sea cost is not appropriate for tourism or recreation, due to the inconvenient landscape; the infrastructures in the region need big improvement, especially water supply and road traffic; local engineering capacity is weak. Opportunities are in connection of the expected start of Kashagan pumping, it will bring thousands of jobs in maintenance industry; gradually locals also get jobs in high technology businesses; the President, with national program puts target of developing hydrocarbon independent economy, through investment in infrastructure, especially in railways and tourism attractive places, transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing; local friendly culture and safe environment will support the development, as this is the way to prosperity; improvement projects for stabilizing the electrical supply. A strategic plan of development of Kazakhstan until 2020 was adopted in 2010.


In the United States, the industry has around $850 billion in annual revenue according to statistics tracked by the Census Bureau, with an $857 billion annual rate, of which $600 billion is private (split evenly between residential and nonresidential) and the remainder is government. There are about 667,000 firms employing 1 million contractors (200,000 general contractors, 38,000 heavy, and 432,000 specialty); the average contractor employs fewer than 10 employees. As a whole, the industry employs an estimated 5.8 million. A salary survey revealed the differences in remuneration between different roles, sectors and locations in the construction and built environment industry. The results showed that areas of particularly strong growth in the construction industry, such as the Middle East, yield higher average salaries than in the UK for example. Despite adverse economic conditions, the global construction industry has witnessed growth during the past five years and the market is forecast to reach US $8,929 billion with a CAGR of 7.3% over the next five years. The Construction industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in the construction of residential construction, commercial buildings, and infrastructural projects. The industry also includes additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairing activities. The industry is highly fragmented in terms of suppliers and buyers and highly dependent on consumer spending, interest rates, and government spending in different countries.


Management consulting, the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, operates primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and the development of plans for improvement. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialized expertise. Consultancies may also provide organizational change-management assistance, development of coaching skills, process analysis, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants often bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work tasks. Management consulting has grown quickly, with growth rates of the industry exceeding 20% during the past 30 years. As a business service, consulting remains highly cyclical and linked to overall economic conditions. Currently, there are three main types of consulting firms. Large, diversified organizations, Medium-sized management consultancies and boutique firms that have focused areas of consulting expertise in specific industries, functional areas, technologies, or regions of the world. The value of the management & marketing consultancy market is calculated as the total revenues received for the provision of corporate strategy services, operations management services, information technology solutions, human resource management services and outsourcing services. The global management & marketing consultancy market has total revenues of $305.0bn, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%. The operations management segment is the market’s most lucrative, with total revenues of $93bn, equivalent to 30.5% of the market’s overall value. The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated CAGR of 7% during the next 5 years, which is expected to drive the market to a value of $427.9bn.

Doha, Qatar

Qatar is the biggest LNG exporter in the world, supplying to various places around the globe with proved reserves comprise 13% of the world total. Nevertheless the country takes measure to de-carbonize the economy. Gas production is 158.5 bln. m3, consumption is 32.93 bln. m3, export is 125.5 bln. m3, import is 6.5 bln. m3, reserves are 25.07 trillion m3. GDP in 2014 was $210 billion; growth rate in sequential years was 6 % in 2012, 6.3 % in 2013, 6.1 % in 2014. The major sectors are –industry takes 68 % of total economy – liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair; services are at 31.9 %; agriculture has only 0.1 % – fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef and fish. The desert nature in the region, make the agrarian business impossible. Labor force is 1.5 mln.; unemployment is 0.4 % in 2014. National trade exports: $121 bln. – liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel; Japan 25.3%, South Korea 18.8%, India 12.7%, China 7.7%, Singapore 6.2%, UAE 5.1%. Trade imports: $39.12 bln. – machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals; US 11.5%, China 10.6%, UAE 8.2%, Germany 7.1%, Japan 6.4%, UK 5.5%, Italy 4.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%. Debt: $158 bln. Electricity production is 32.7 bln. kWh, all internally consumed; generation capacity is 8 GW, with 98.5 % fossil and renewable is 1.5 %. The harsh climate makes people stay mostly indoor, putting a strong burden on cooling facilities, respectively on an electrical power production. Air-conditioning is working day and night, consuming tremendous portion of the energy produced. All new technologies in efficient and energy saving lighting are applied. Crude production is 1.54 mln. bbl/day, export is 1.232 mln. bbl/day, import is 118 000 bbl/day, reserves 25.24 bln. bbl. Refined production – 311 000 bbl/day, consumption – 230 000 bbl/day, export 554 000 bbl/day. The cost of fuel is very low and does not support saving performance from drivers. In the same the weak public transport makes the private cars and taxis the only option for transportation. Strong construction activities are going on all around the country and in Doha – malls, roads, villas, recreational places, artificial landscape. Two entirely new cities are in construction – Lusail and Al Waab, giving rise to heavy transport, sea shipments and flow of new foreign workers. Qatar’s hosting of FIFA 2022 World Cup is accelerating large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar’s metro system, light rail system, a new port, roads, stadiums and related sporting infrastructure, those change the vision of Doha. The city streets are full with heavy trucks, noise and traffic jams are intensifying. Numerous international construction and consultant companies are presented there, attracted by the plans of Qatar and also by the favorable legislation, as the US, UK and EU norms are respected. Qatar is planning also to become a health hub of the Arabic peninsula and rehabilitation of old hospitals or new construction takes place. Opportunities in the outside environment are in connection of: the stable demand in the world market for LNG; stable political relations with other Arabic countries, EU and US and trade relations with China, Japan, South Korea and India; good image of the country. Threats are related to: the steep fall of the oil & gas prices worldwide; new discoveries with gas, which increase competition; development of new technologies, which make non-traditional resources cheaper than traditional ones; political one, related to the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq, which destabilizing Middle East; terrorism, spread out in all Arabic world and Africa, making a wide region unsafe, etc. The main weakness of Qatar is too much dependence on the oil & gas business and export. The steps taken for de-carbonizing the economy are not giving quick results in that direction. Also too much dependence on the foreign workforce, as it is at the moment, makes the country vulnerable to external factors. Local population shall gradually take over common working activities in private companies, instead of relying on the jobs in public offices only. Strengths are numerous: big national wealth; strong construction changing the structure of the economy and the vision of the country; all new technologies are applied in new construction; developed public facilities, rule of law; international codes are applied in construction – US, UK and EU; the willingness of local authorities to build a modern state, with the best infrastructure and healthcare and other services; common understanding that de-carbonizing the economy is the best future of the economy; the developments would make Qatar as an attractive touristic destination.


The energy industry is the totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution. Modern society consumes large amounts of fuel, and the energy industry is a crucial part of the infrastructure and maintenance of society in almost all countries. In particular, the energy industry comprises: the petroleum industry, including oil companies, petroleum refiners, fuel transport and end-user sales at gas stations; the gas industry, including natural gas extraction, and coal gas manufacture, as well as distribution and sales; the electrical power industry, including electricity generation, electric power distribution and sales; the coal industry; the nuclear power industry; the renewable energy industry, comprising alternative energy and sustainable energy companies, including those involved in hydroelectric power, wind power, and solar power generation, and the manufacture, distribution and sale of alternative fuels; traditional energy industry based on the collection and distribution of firewood, the use of which, for cooking and heating, is particularly common in poorer countries. Production and consumption of energy resources is very important to the global economy. All economic activity requires energy resources, whether to manufacture goods, provide transportation, run computers and other machines. Widespread demand for energy may encourage competing energy utilities and the formation of retail energy markets.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul as a political, financial and business center concentrates all business activities, financial flows, offices, etc. Despite the terrorist attacks, it is safer place for business, in comparison with provinces. The country developments affect the business life in Kabul, as government and institutions are there and as major companies head offices are situated there. The sponsors believe that development of infrastructure will support business operations – water, power generation, capacity building, and the transport links to domestic and international markets – roads railways, pipelines. World Bank indicates Afghanistan as the fastest growing economy in South Asia. The major sectors are – agriculture takes around 25 % of total economy – opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins; industry is 22 % – production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, clothes, food, juices and mineral water, cement; hand woven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper; services take 53 %. Labor force is 7.5 mln.; unemployment is 30-35 %. Trade exports: $2.8 billion – opium, fruits and nuts, hand woven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, gems. Pakistan 33.7%, India 23.8%, Tajikistan 8.9%, Russia 5.6%, Bangladesh 5.1%, US 4.1%. Trade imports: $6.4 bln. – Machinery and capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products, US 31.3%, Pakistan 20.7%, Russia 8.4%, India 5.4%, Germany 4%. Electricity production is close to 1 bln. kWh; consumption is 3.9 bln. kWh; generation capacity is above 0.5 GW, of which 23.5 % fossil, hydro is 76.3%, 0.2% renewable; import coming mainly from northern neighbors, funded by India, ADB, WB, and USAID. Numerous rehabilitation and new construction projects of power plants and grid are going on, financed by banks, donors, states, international organizations. Afghanistan has undeveloped natural resources and deposits estimated at $3 trillion – lithium, copper and gold, iron, lead, zinc and natural gas. Billions are invested in mines, in could support to the country’ economic independence. Chinese and Indian companies mainly bid to develop mineral deposits. Copper mines are the largest investments – China Metallurgical Group & consortium. Gold concessions were given to various international investors and to the local businessman Sadat Naderi, iron – to Steel Authority of India and consortium, together with a mill and a power plant. A Chinese company CNPC explores the Amu Darya oil deposits, with a 25-year contract and plans for refinery construction. Natural gas – production/consumption 160 mln.m3 (2011); reserves estimated to 50 bln.m3. LPG – Ghazanfar holds 70 % of the trade in Afghanistan. Challenges in mine industry are: the longest lead-times, high operating costs, missing water and power generation supportive infrastructure and transport links. Despite the destabilizing factors, the investments process continues, supported by numerous opportunities. Kabul Municipal Development Program ($110 million grant) targets: access to basic municipal services, redesign Municipality’s financial system, and early response to emergency. The Kabul municipality implements the project, that will give benefits to over 700 000 people. Road and sanitation equipment will be installed to combat pollution and improve road services and city environment. Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement Project ($90.5 million grant), aims to improve the road infrastructure and provision of technical assistance to Kabul Municipality. There are others, targeting the administrative capacity, civil works contracts, implementation of the international construction norms. All those are under supervision and management of foreign specialists, engineers, architects, designers. Foreign investments in electrical network, transport corridors and mining, give chances to local economies. It is not rare case anymore that Afghan companies get projects in important segments of the economy. All this investments, involving local people, give chance to development of the human capacity. A $1 billion project New Kabul City, signed in 2013, is a major residential development of multi-function commercial, historic and cultural complex within the Old City of Kabul. Long discussed projects: TAPI, gas supply from Turkmenistan to India, through Afghanistan; and CASA-1000 a 1,300 MW transmission line(grant of $526.5 million)in Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan, will support the development of the construction industry, and provide gas and electricity to energy hungry provinces, involving local engineers and increasing the local technological capacity. Those projects create optimism among population, that good development in their country is possible. The threats in the country development are many, as the main one is the local insurgency. There are regions, controlled by insurgents and despite all efforts of the army, supported by NATO troops, the success is not immediate, so providing instability to the whole country and to Kabul, where terrorist attacks are daily. Another threat is the involvement of foreign terrorist organizations, some already well situated in Middle East and some new, looking for ways to be seen. Recently those began fighting each other, bringing more chaos to the situation. Weaknesses of Afghanistan are – corruption and lack of institutional capacity; population consists of several major tribes, who keep own territories; urbanization is very low, that hinders creation of homogeneous society. All those mentioned projects, which are going on, are done mainly by foreign specialists, engineers, architects, by foreign companies. Although many local specialists are gradually involved, it is very insufficient for strong and fast development of a local engineering pool, very much necessary to the country. Strengths of Afghanistan are also numerous – the country practically needs total renovation in each sector, and together with foreign investment, that is supportive to projects. The population accepts development process and participates in it. Thousands of young people study in renowned universities, eager to get personal development, but also to support creation of a future engineering pool. The mining wealth of the country will bring the necessary industrialization to the economy.

Oil & Gas

The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting (often by oil tankers and pipelines), and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline (petrol). Petroleum (oil) is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics. The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream and downstream. Midstream operations are usually included in the downstream category. Petroleum is vital to many industries, and is of importance to the maintenance of industrial civilization in its current configuration, and thus is a critical concern for many nations. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe and Asia, to a high of 53% for the Middle East. Other geographic regions’ consumption patterns are as follows: South and Central America (44%), Africa (41%), and North America (40%). The world consumes 30 billion barrels of oil per year, with developed nations being the largest consumers. The United States consumes 25% of the oil produced. The production, distribution, refining, and retailing of petroleum taken as a whole represents the world’s largest industry in terms of dollar value. Governments such as the United States government provide a heavy public subsidy to petroleum companies, with major tax breaks at virtually every stage of oil exploration and extraction, including the costs of oil field leases and drilling equipment. The global oil storage industry has seen strong growth due to the increase in oil prices over the last decade. However, oil prices have witnessed a sharp dip due to the global economic crisis. The decline in profit margins due to decreasing oil prices and highly inflated asset values will affect future storage dynamics. The existing storage terminal operators are already experiencing a severe reduction in fresh investments in the market. Regional tax policies are also likely to affect any storage investments. Therefore, new entrants into the storage industry will face tough market conditions due to low profit margins. The rise in oil demand due to economic growth in South East Asia is likely to propel storage industry growth in the region. The lack of robust storage infrastructure in large oil consuming countries such as China is driving the oil storage industry in the region. China is one of the largest oil consumers in the world and in order to secure its future oil needs the country is increasing its crude oil storage capacity. China is building huge storage facilities to increase its oil reserve capacity and aims to set up reserves capable of meeting 90 to 100 days of domestic crude oil consumption. The value of the global oil and gas equipment and services market is deemed to be the revenues accrued by the manufacturers of equipment, including drilling rigs and equipment and providers of supplies and services to companies involved in the drilling, evaluation and completion of oil and gas wells. The global oil & gas equipment & services market has total revenues of $387.8bn, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7%. The manufacturers of oil rigs and drilling equipment segment is the market’s most lucrative, with total revenue of $121.2bn, equivalent to 31.3% of the market’s overall value. The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated CAGR of 9.2% for during the next five years, which is expected to drive the market to a value of $601.4bn.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is the economic heart of Bulgaria and home to most major Bulgarian and international companies operating in the country, as well as the Bulgarian National Bank and the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The city and its surrounding Yugozapaden NUTS II planning region is the most developed region in the country. Increasingly, Sofia is becoming an outsourcing destination for multinational companies, among them IBM, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Siemens, Software AG. Bulgaria Air, PPD, the national airline of Bulgaria, has its head office on the grounds of Sofia Airport. The city has now attracted a cumulative total of $11,6 billion in foreign direct investment.