Kazakhstan to have 10 Million Automobiles within 5 years

     Kazakhstan, which as a population of 15 million people, will nearly double its density of automobiles, which is expected to grow up to 10.3 million, according to the British consulting agency, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).     According to EIU, the major factors for growth are increasing incomes and accessible bank loans, as well as a strengthening of the tenge, whereas a historical deterrent has been poorly developed and out-of-date infrastructure.     Over the last year, traffic jams and visible pollution have increased noticeably in Almaty, Astana and other large cities, which are enjoying an influx of oil wealth.     The government is somewhat nervous over the rapid increase in automobiles, which can be seen in the suggestion made last May to ban all vehicles with a right-sided steering wheel, and to halt the importation of used cars.     In the opinion of the EIU analysts, car imports will continue to dominate domestically assembled vehicles. At present, second-hand imported cars occupy approximately 70% of the market.     Below are EIU forecasts on the dynamics of the growth of automobiles in Kazakhstan:
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Number of cars (million) 1.8 2.7 3.8 5.7 8.25 10.321
Number of cars per 1,000 persons 20 178 248 369 533 659
    According to statistics, the population is currently growing by approximately 100,000 persons per year, according to Reuters.