ASTANA INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
The AIFC aims to support economic growth and foster the development of financial services in Kazakhstan and the region by enhancing human capital development, providing services in accordance with international standards and the best practices of the leading financial centres and establishing Nur-Sultan as the financial & logistics hub of the vast Eurasian region. The AIFC is a modern financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, Eurasian Economic Union, Caucasus, Western China and Mongolia. Following an ambitious goal of becoming the top 30 financial centres of the world in the long-run, the AIFC focuses on the development of its core pillars. The key features of the AIFC is an attractive business environment and the presence of the Astana Financial Services Authority (regulatory body), the AIFC Court, the International Arbitration Centre and the Astana International Exchange (AIX). The independent AIFC bodies, the AIFC legal and regulatory regime ensure fairness, justice and greatly enhance the credibility of Kazakhstan in the eyes of foreign investors community. The AIFC fulfils the development of all its pillars through the following benefits such as tax exemption (corporate income tax, personal income tax, land tax, property tax); simplified currency, visa and labour regimes for participants and employees of the AIFC; modern offices spaces; as well as connectivity of Nur-Sultan with the key financial centres around the world via direct flights and open sky
The creation of the Astana International Financial Centre is one of the key steps of the Plan of the Nation of the First President of the country – Elbasy “100 concrete steps” (steps 24, 70, 71, 72) aimed at diversifying the economy and developing financial industry.The AIFC Jurisdiction is based on the principles, norms and precedents of the law of England and Wales (Common Law).There are 6 pillars of AIFC; Capital Markets, Asset Management, Private banking, FinTech, Islamic Finance and Green Finance. In 2019, the AIFC became a hub for more than 350 companies from 35 countries. AIFC ranks 1st place among the financial centres of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, ahead of Istanbul, Warsaw, Budapest, Moscow and Baku. AIFC has been awarded the Global
Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA): Institutional Support of Islamic Finance (2018); Initiatives for the Development.of Human Capital (2018); An individual nomination for Policy Development in thefield of Islamic Finance (2018); and the Global Islamic Finance LeadershipAward (2019). The AIFC Court and International Arbitration Centre became the 1st in Central Asia Region launch the eJustice filing system.In 2019, the AIFC was named Overall BRI project or initiative of the year according to the authoritative global publication ASIAMONE
The AIFC court and the IAC signed 17 memoranda of cooperation with leading dispute resolution centres in Eurasia, Asia and Europe.The reservations of the AIFC Court and IAC have been included in over 1300 contracts as the preferred forum for dispute resolution.AIFC Court employs 12 justicesThe International Arbitration Centre -37 arbitrators About 30 types of financial and market activities, as well as 5 types of auxiliary activities can carried out at the AIFC..
AIFC creates an innovative environment for financial activities.
The Astana Financial Services Authority launched a specialized regulatory environment – FinTech Laboratory – to test new financial services and technologies.
In FinTech Laboratory, 18 companies are licensed to provide various types of activities, including: Digital asset management; crowdfunding; Automated investment management (Robo-advisory); Islamic finance; Factoring.
AIFC participating companies have already made investments in various projects of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the amount of more than US$130 million.
The Astana International Exchange received the status of a “recognised stock exchange” from the HM Revenue and Customs of the UK, becoming the only exchange with this status in the CIS and Central Asia.
Polymetal – Listing of the first foreign issuer at the AIX. About AIX $216 million of equity capital was raised at the AIX – this is several times more than the equity capital raised on the Kazakhstan stock market over the past three years. AIFC operates on a Single Window Principle. AIFC Expat Centre has no analogues among CIS countries. AIFC Expat Centre renders over 5,700 services. More than 100 start-ups based at the Fintech Hub AIFC At the Fintech Hub hosted the regional stage of Visa Everywhere Initiative More than 50 technology, ICT and fintech companies are registered in the AIFC jurisdictionAIFCbecame an official business partner with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum (WEF C4IR).The report “Overview of the Financial Sector in the Region”, prepared by the AIFC in partnership with the audit companies Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, is presented.AIFC Law Pro Bono Office organises bi-weekly pro bono sessions free of charge. AIFC volunteer law firm participants conducted 10 bono sessions, providing more than 50 clients with free legal aid.Adherence to international standards
AIFC acts in the field of financial services regulation are developed on the basis of the best international standards and principles established by international organisations:
- International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
- Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
- International Association of Insurance Supervisory Authorities (IAIS)
- Islamic Financial Services Council (IFSB)
- Organization of Accounting and Audit of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI)
- International Financial Consumer Protection Organisation (FinCoNet)
Astana Financial Services Authority organised International Investor Week in 6 cities of Kazakhstan under the auspices of IOSCO. The International Investors Week is attended by financial
regulators from 80 countries on 6 continents.
8 AIFC employees entered the Presidential Youth Personnel Reserve.
2 AIFC employees showed the highest scores in the selection process for the Presidential Youth Personnel Reserve.
Kazakhstan is an attractive location for the amplification of Islamic finance. Therefore, Islamic Finance has been chosen as one of the core pillars of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The AIFC is the largest platform in the region providing businesses access to Islamic finance – an alternative source of financing for government and private projects and it offers a comprehensive regulatory and legal regime consistent with international best practices and standards. The AIFC aims to develop Islamic finance in Kazakhstan and CIS region to serve as the Islamic finance gateway and the Islamic finance Hub of the region. The AIFC has worked closely with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to create a favourable legal and regulatory environment, developing products and tools that will attract Islamic banking, non-banking financial services and capital from Central Asia, the Middle East and South-East Asia. The initiatives undertaken by the AIFC in the promotion and development of Islamic finance have improved the ranking of Kazakhstan from being at number 24 in 2018 to number 18 in 2019 according to the Global Islamic Finance Report’s (GIFR 2019) Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI).