Kazakhstan's Ministry of Justice calls in consultants from Mercury

08 May 2018 Consultancy.asia 2 min. read

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice has called in consultants from Mercury, a public affairs consultancy that is part of international professional services firm Omnicom.

Sitting on enormous oil reserves, minerals, and metals (e.g. ore, manganese, chromite, lead, and zinc), Kazakhstan generates a GDP of over $270 billion, which equates to over 60% of the GDP produced in the Central Asia region.

As part of its lobbying endeavours, geared at both the West (the US and Western Europe) and the East (notably China), the Republic’s Ministry of Justice has tapped the services of Mercury. The New York-based public affairs consulting firm will provide management services to government officials in areas of lobbying, cross-border public relations and issues management, according to Foreign Agents Registration Act documents filed with the Justice Department in April. 

Mercury was founded in 1999 in the United States by four experienced public affairs consultants. The firm, which was acquired by Omnicom in 2003, the parent company of Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, works for companies, advocacy groups, governments, political parties, NGOs, and prominent public and political figures.

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice calls in consultants from Mercury

The ministry of the oil-rich former Soviet Union state will pay $30,000 per month to the external firm for its consulting and management services, with the $90,000 deal to terminate in June. 

In its work for the Kazakh officials, Mercury will work closely with lawyers from US law firm Latham & Watkins, with revenues of over $3 billion the globe’s second largest law firm in fee income. 

According to a recent report by the World Bank, Kazakhstan’s economy is set for growth in the coming years, as the country recovers from the economic backlash it faced amid the oil price slump a few years ago. After recovering from the 2008-2011 financial crisis, GDP growth had risen to 6%, yet the oil price crash dwarfed growth to an estimated 1% in 2015 and 2016. The report found that the outlook for 2017 and beyond is optimistic: GDP growth is expected to reach 2.9% by 2019. 

Meanwhile in Kazakhstan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in March announced that it has extended its management consulting subsidy and support programme for small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.