Since gaining independence in December 1991, Kazakhstan’s economy has undergone a deep transformation. After the fallout of the Russian financial crisis, Kazakhstan’s growth has been significant, averaging almost 8% per annum in real terms between 2000 and 2013. This growth owed much to the strength of the oil and gas sector. Kazakhstan has also taken steps to try and boost foreign investment and trade by joining Russia and Belarus in the establishment of a Custom Union in 2010.