Astana International Finance Center – Facilitating investment in Kazakhstan’s economy, Promoting integration with global capital markets

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Tazeen Akhtar from Kazakhstan
Astana: 27 April 2023 – The international journalists from Asian and European countries visited Astana International Finance Center AIFC on the second day of their observatory tour to the capital city of Republic of Kazakhstan. The journalists held meetings with newly elected members of the Parliament in Election 19 March 2023 after the constitutional reforms. The journalists’ visit was aimed at observing the outcomes of the reforms. Therefore the journalists had discussions with the representatives of different segments of the society as well. Reforming the country and the governance is not possible without improving the economic and financial matters. The journalists visit to AIFC helped them understand the financial development of the Republic in the light of why and how Kazakhstan is the biggest economy in Central Asia.
Governor AIFC Mr Renat Bekturov, Registrar & CEO AIFC & Arbitrary Court Mr. Chris Campbell-Holt and  Press Secretary Ainur Issbayeva welcomed the journalists to their offices and apprised them about the functions of AIFC in detail.
The officials shared that Republic of Kazakhstan is 9th biggest country with respect to area in the world. The largest economy in Central Asia that is growing continuously. The credit ratings in 2022 are ; Modies Baa2, S&P BBB, Fitch BBB.
GDP is $ 220.5 Billion while Exports are $ 84.4 Billion. The growth in last 5 years is 38%.
Kazakhstan is situated on the cross roads of Asia and Europe making the geography a supporting element for trade and economy. Investment friendly policies and minerals export helped the Republic in achievement of economic growth.
Kazakhstan is member in World Trade Organization and European Economic Council.
Astana Finance Day will be celebrated on 7 June 2023 that is the biggest financial and economic activity in the country.
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction that began its operations in 2018. AIFC’s primary goals include facilitating investment in Kazakhstan’s economy, fostering the growth of the country’s financial industry, including its stock market, and promoting integration with global capital markets.
AIFC has established all the necessary infrastructure, which is now fully operational – all the bodies and organisations, including the Management Council led by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, authority, regulator, stock exchange, court and arbitration centre, as well as several initiatives aimed at attracting investment and businesses to the AIFC site, promoting the development of technological and green projects, and providing vocational training opportunities.
As of the end of March 2023, investments totaling 8.2 billion U.S. dollars have been attracted through AIFC to the economy of Kazakhstan. AIFC jurisdiction currently boasts over 1,800 registered companies from 73 different countries, with more than 270 licensed companies offering around 35 different types of financial services.
A favourable tax regime has been established for AIFC participants who are engaged in licensed financial activities. AIFC tax regime is in compliance with the global standards of tax transparency set forth by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
AIFC is the only jurisdiction in Central Asia that operates based on the principles of English law. There is a growing interest among legal and business communities in the activities of the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre.
The AIFC Court is comprised of 9 world-class judges who were appointed by the President of Kazakhstan, while the International Arbitration Centre involves 41 international arbitrators. To date, the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre have issued a total of 1910 decisions, including 54 at Court and 1856 via arbitration and mediation.
Portfolio investments. Astana International Exchange (AIX) has emerged as a successful platform for attracting portfolio investments as part of the development of the country’s capital market.
AIX is one of the main platforms for implementing the Program of privatisation of national companies through initial public offerings (IPOs). One example of this was the 2018 IPO of Kazatamprom (world’s largest producer of natural uranium). Another notable IPO took place in early December 2022, when KazMunayGas (the national oil company) went public on the local stock market with the help of AIX.
For the first time in Kazakhstan, AIX offered a direct subscription tool to reach a broader population of investors. This tool allowed investors to apply for the purchase of company shares directly from the issuer using Tabys, a mobile application developed by AIX for retail investors.
Sustainable development. The AIFC Green Finance Centre remains actively engaged in implementing the Centre’s regional leadership strategy in green and sustainable finance introducing new tools to the country and the region, such as green bonds, social bonds, and subsidies for green projects, among others.
Innovation and Technology Development. Tech Hub is an organisation under AIFC that is dedicated to promoting the development of the startup ecosystem, venture capital market, e-commerce, corporate innovation, and new technological areas in Kazakhstan (GovTech, SatelliteTech, 4IR etc.). Currently, Tech Hub has attracted about 300 technology, ICT, and fintech companies from around the world to register within AIFC jurisdiction, including some of the world’s largest companies. Tech Hub has also supported around 200 startups to date.
ASTANA FINANCE DAY
AFD is an annual international financial conference that since 2018 has emerged as a prominent event in Eurasia, providing a platform for policymakers, financial industry experts, investors, and business leaders to engage in discussions on contemporary issues, trends, and opportunities within the finance industry of the region.
Astana Finance Days 2023 will take place on June 7. Over 2018-2022, the AFD attracted over 21,000 participants from 100 countries of the world. This year the topic of the conference will be “At the Forefront of Finance.” For more information and to register for the AFD forum, please visit the https://aifc.kz/en/news/astana-finance-days-2023-at-the-forefront-of-finance

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