July 19, 2018

Astana International Financial Centre opens

ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – July 05, 2018: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (2nd L) and HE Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan (R) attend the opening ceremony of Astana International Financial Centre. Seen with HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs (L). (Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi).

Thursday, 5 July 2018, Astana, Kazakhstan: The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) was officially inaugurated in the presence of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and guest of honour, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Accompanying the latter was HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs upon his arrival at the Centre.

The Astana International Financial Center is the brainchild of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s long-serving president. He’s been at the country’s helm since independence. To everyone with money at work there, his government’s reformist ideas are welcome and forward-thinking.

The AIFC is like a country within a country, modelled on Singapore and Dubai centres that have English as the main language, U.K. securities and corporate law, visa and tax waivers (though not tax-free) for global financial players to set up shop, and maybe an experiment with blockchain and cryptocurrencies while they are at it.

To observers, the AIFC is also Chinese big thinking, whereas you build something out of nothing and eventually create demand. Albeit Astana’s population is around one million. Shanghai has 24 million alone and is located in the second-largest economy in the world.

In a speech delivered before senior international financial officials and guests, President Nazarbayev said that AIFC will serve Central Asian countries by supporting the development of the private banking sector, and opening investment opportunities. It will also facilitate the development of Green Finance, and support environmental-friendly investments.

He also pointed out that the official launch coincides with the 20th anniversary of the founding of the capital Astana, and is part of the country’s continuous quest for modernisation and development.

AIFC – positioned as a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe – is located at Expo 2017, and is equipped with modern infrastructure and advanced technologies. Another key strategic objective of the Centre will be to provide financial solutions as per Islamic laws.

The VIP Emirati delegation accompanying the guest of honour included: Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of Executive Affairs Authority, and Dr. Mohammed Ahmed bin Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Kazakhstan.

For further information:
• AIFC: https://aifc.kz/en
• President of Kazakhstan: http://www.akorda.kz/k

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