JUNG-WAN LEE AND SIMON W. TAI, BANG COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, KAZAKHSTAN
This study focuses on the soaring rise of Kazakhstan economy that has become a major engine pulling the CIS states in this Post-Soviets economic region. Propositions are developed regarding to what factors that might influence consumer consumption, what are the identities of working consumer groups, what are the profile of these consumers, and what are the consumers’ perceptions toward Western countries, Western multinational firms, and Western products in transition economies. Data are collected by focus group interviews of different consumer groups for qualitative implications, and survey questionnaires on quantitative implications were developed and utilized during September through November 2004 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The analyzed results suggest that macroeconomic factors such as fast economic growth fueled by oil money, government’s strong will for open market system, active foreign direct investment by multinational firms, and rapid increases in higher levels of business education influence consumers’ consumption patterns during the time of economic transition. In turn, these factors affect the generation Y to be a working consumer group; and their consumption patterns are in favor of and similar to that of global consumers.
Keywords: Globalization; International Business; Emerging Market; Multinational Firms; Consumer Perception.