Friday, February 7, 2014

Market Differentiation: "Kazakh leader may drop the 'stan' in Kazakhstan"

One of these is not like the others:

From Reuters:

President Nursultan Nazarbayev may drop the 'stan' from Kazakhstan to distinguish his booming oil-rich nation from the rest of Central Asia, where the other so-called stans are mostly mired in poverty.

The world's ninth largest nation by area with a population of just 17 million, Kazakhstan is the largest economy of the post-Soviet region, which also includes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Foreign companies have invested billions of dollars in the nation's mineral wealth since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But Kazakh officials say the vast country of steppes and mountains is still little known in the world.

Nazarbayev, who visited the nation's oil capital Atyrau in western Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon, said a new name like Kazakh Eli, which stands for "The Land of Kazakhs", would be more eye-catching for a foreigner studying the region's map.

"In our country's name, there is this 'stan' ending which other Central Asian nations have as well. But, for instance, foreigners show interest in Mongolia, whose population is just two million people, but whose name lacks the 'stan' ending," Nazarbayev's press service quoted him as saying....MORE
"The New New Great Game: Geography, Energy, The Dollar and Gold"
Just about the time 'the 'stans' start receding from the Western headlines it is probably most important to think about them....