You are here: Home » News-ANI » Business
Business Standard

Central Asian global financial hub AIFC opens in Astana

Business Finance

ANI  |  Astana [Kazakhstan] 

The Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) was officially inaugurated here on Thursday in the presence of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev almost three years after he signed a law to establish it.

Thursday's inaugural ceremony in national capital Astana was attended by people from all walks of life, including heads of state, politicians, and representatives of international companies, the scientific community and financial analytical centers. The President of Kazakhstan will also be a witness to the signing of several agreements between finance ministers of several countries who are attending the event.

The official unveiling ceremony of the AIFC, a financial free zone, is being projected by the Government of Kazakhstan as a key event of the Astana Finance Days.

The AIFC has been set up with the objective of creating an attractive environment for investment, development of Kazakhstan's securities market, its integration with other internationally recognized financial institutions. A press note given by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in New Delhi and emphasized upon by Ambassador Bulat Sarsenbayev said that there has been a 53 percent increase in trade and 68 percent increase in tourist traffic to Kazakhstan over the last couple of years.

The AIFC will also develop a insurance and banking services market as well as promote a system of Islamic financing.

About 55 companies have already registered with the AIFC and the number is expected to grow to 500 by the year 2020.

The center will have links and cooperation with world financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, the EBRD, the ADB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the SCO Development Bank.

Among its key features are:

. Modern infrastructure

. Tax exemption for 50 years (corporate, individual, land and property tax)

. Free office rent for two years

. Simplified Visa and Labour Regimes for AIFC participants and employees

. Astana's air links/connectivity to key financial centers around the world

. A separate legal system based on the principles of Common Law

. AIFC being positioned as a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe

. The AIFC intends to strategically focus on developing a liquid and well-balanced capital market with a broad range of financial instruments. Part of this initiative will include a state of the art global hi-tech exchange platform

. The AIFC will promote development of the asset management industry not only in Kazakhstan, but across the Central Asian region

. Another key strategic objective of the center will be to provide financial solutions as per Islamic laws. Currently, five countries- Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and the UAE account for 80 percent of the Islamic finance market

. The AIFC intends to leverage technology to exploit the potential of the fin-tech start-up sector in Central Asia

. Will support development of the private banking sector and open investment opportunities for high net worth individuals in Central Asia

. Will facilitate development of Green Finance, and support environmental-friendly investments

The AIFC has already signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Qatar Financial Center Authority, ERG, and CIS Interstate Bank.

The Silk Road Fund signed the documents to get the status of AIX (AIFC Exchange) shareholder.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, July 05 2018. 15:35 IST