Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, EAEU, the Middle East, West China, Mongolia and Europe. The Centre will be situated within EXPO-2017 and supported by modern infrastructure & the latest technology.
The AIFC operates within a special legal regime based on Common Law, which regulates the legal relationships between AIFC participants and third parties and is aimed at the development of the financial market.
Priority 1: Establish a transparent and understandable legal regime based on the best world practices.
There is a special jurisdiction within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan formed on the AIFC territory. Jurisdiction with its own commercial and civil law, reproduced in accordance with the English Common Law and in case of uncertainty, referring to the original source in English Common law. The main institution for resolving disputes between AIFC participants is the independent AIFC Court. It is provided by qualified judges with practical experience in countries with jurisdiction over English Common Law, which is not included in the Judicial system of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In addition, within the framework of arbitration agreements, an Arbitration has been set up to resolve possible disputes.
Priority 2: Creation of a Regulatory regime corresponding to the recognized world standards.
The main elements of the Regulatory regime are the Regulatory legal framework and the Regulator. The Regulatory framework should be understandable and coherent, as well as to cover all strategic directions of the AIFC development. The Regulator should have clear and objective responsibilities, sufficient power, resources and opportunities to properly perform duties and functions. Also Regulator should be independent in its day-to-day activities, but accountable to a higher authority for the exercise of its rights and powers. In addition, the Regulator should have full powers to carry out inspections and investigations. As well as to supervise the enforcement and regulatory execution requirements, while ensuring the effective and proper use of such powers and the implementation of an effective compliance system.
Priority 3: The Exchange should correspond to the best world practices for the local capital market development.
The Exchange shall perform listing, organizing trades, registration of securities, clearing and settlement procedures. Moreover, the Exchange should serve as a mechanism for economic diversification, providing the real economy with access to capital. Also allowing Kazakh investors to benefit from the country's economic growth by investing in the flagships of the Kazakhstan`s economy. The Exchange should also ensure the transparency of the stock market and simplify foreign capital access to Kazakhstani and regional companies. Thus, the Exchange, corresponding to the best world practices, will become a platform for the privatization of national companies.
Priority 4: Creation of favorable environment conducive to the recognized professional managers` arrival on the AIFC site.
Localization of external asset managers on the AIFC territory will give an effective impetus to the development of the local asset management market and the capital market, and will subsequently facilitate the arrival of large institutional and private investors.
For large management companies, the depth of investment capital potential is an important aspect in choosing certain areas, along with legal and tax privileges. In this regard, the localization of external management companies on the AIFC territory in the future may become an additional competitive advantage for external management companies to participate in the tender for asset management of the National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the pension assets of the Single Accumulation Pension Fund.
Priority 5: Supporting sustainable economic growth and Green finance development on the AIFC basis.
Sustainable economic growth presupposes economic growth taking into account the ecological and social components. The ecological component is extremely important for the development of Kazakhstan. Economy of Kazakhstan depends on the minerals extraction, which are the traditional sources of energy. Renewable energy technologies were the main theme of EXPO-2017. On the basis of AIFC, using the unique infrastructure of EXPO-2017, attention will be paid to supporting renewable energy technologies; AIFC will become a platform for investing in environmental projects. AIFC should be open to launch Green finance programs, in particular, the issue of Green bonds.
Priority 6: AIFC should become a Centre for local expertise and contribute to the growth and development of the country's human capital, creating a favorable environment for attracting leading world experts.
This includes reducing barriers to registration and participation, as well as the AIFC establishment as a platform for interaction between foreign specialists and representatives of the local financial market. Thus, it is necessary to increase the attractiveness of AIFC by ensuring the exemption of participants from taxes for the first 50 years, introducing a simplified visa and labor regime and connecting Astana with the key financial centres of the world by direct flights. It is necessary to support programs of professional development and certification, to pay attention to research programs in the relevant fields on the AIFC basis.
The construction of a new passenger terminal at Astana International Airport is scheduled prior to the start of EXPO-2017
The annual capacity of the airport will grow from 3 million passengers to 7 million. Air Astana, the national air carrier, is expected to launch new direct flights to the main financial centers: New York, Tokyo and Singapore in the near future.