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Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by size and is the biggest economy in central Asia, despite its population of just 17 million. Its capital is in Astana, although Almaty, the country’s biggest city and the financial centre of the region, was the capital until 1998. Other major cities include Karaganda, Aktau and Atyrau. Karaganda is the centre for coal mining; while Aktau and Atyrau are known for their oil production. As a result, Kazakhst