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LONDON, 6 November 2018 – The prospects and the potential of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) were the main topics of a business networking event organised by the British-Kazakhstan Society (BKS) and the AIFC, with the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in London.
The AIFC operates within a special legal regime based on English common law. The centre is a financial hub not only for Central Asia, but also for the wider Eurasian region.
The London event involved such prominent speakers as the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, Erlan Idrissov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Astana Financial Services Authority, Lady Barbara Judge, Chief Private Banker of the AIFC Authority, Heiner Hartwich, and Deputy CEO of the Astana International Exchange (AIX), Amina Turgulova.
Mr. Idrissov noted that Kazakhstan has become the first country in the region to create an international financial hub based on common law, which is unique for the post-Soviet space. The Kazakh diplomat highlighted Kazakhstan's continuously improving investment climate, which has been confirmed by a recent World Bank Doing Business 2019 report, where Kazakhstan climbed eight positions, ranking 28th among 190 countries.
The event discussed the AIFC's role as one of the important financial components of the Belt and Road Initiative, the development of international private banking within the AIFC, the capital market growth on the back of the privatisation programme, the norms and practices that regulate the companies' activities within the AIFC and are aimed at increasing investor confidence, as well as major cooperation opportunities between the AIFC and British companies.
“What's interesting about the AIFC is that it will be a truly international financial centre, a place where people can come and do business no matter where they originate in the world. First, we have the law courts which apply English common law and are lead by British judges. Then we have the arbitration centre and the independent regulator which operate based on the best regulatory schemes around the world. All of this is aimed to ensure transparency and high level of regulation," said Lady Judge.
Among the advantages of the AIFC, she also mentioned a simplified visa regime, tax breaks for 50 years at both corporate and individual levels, as well as simplified procedures for starting and doing business.