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LONDON, 3 December 2018 – The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) was presented to London's financial and business establishment. The event dedicated to the official launch of the AIFC was held with the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom Erlan Idrissov and AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov addressed those present at the event.
“Kazakhstan is a country open to business and foreign direct investment. This is confirmed by the creation of the Astana International Financial Centre. Its regulatory and legal framework is built upon the world's best practice. I am confident that the AIFC work will contribute to the development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the UK and will become a solid foundation for long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation," said Mr. Idrissov.
As Mr. Kelimbetov noted, the AIFC operates in accordance with international standards of regulating the judicial system, the financial services and the stock market operations. Since the AIFC's official launch, 100 companies have already registered on the AIFC platform, and trading has been launched on the Astana International Exchange (AIX).
“We follow the successful examples of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Those are relevant benchmarks for us. But what we would like is to also create a unique platform, which will be the latest edition of a modern international financial centre," said Mr. Kelimbetov.
Chairman of the AIFC Court Lord Harry Kenneth Woolf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman of the AIFC International Arbitration Centre Barbara Dohmann and AIX Chairman Timothy Bennett spoke about the basic principles of the AIFC's work.
“Our rules are based on decades of what is expected in international arbitration centres. Our panel of arbitrators and mediators comprises professionals with immense experience in many areas who can speak various languages. It is the parties who will choose which arbitrators they want to appoint. The parties can choose which rules they want to apply. The parties can choose just about anything, including the venue and the language of their hearing," said Ms. Dohmann about the work of the AIFC International Arbitration Centre.
The event was attended by such prominent figures as the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Kazakhstan Baroness Emma Nicholson, member of the UK Parliament's House of Lords and Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kazakhstan Lord Mohamed Sheikh, representatives of the London Stock Exchange, TheCityUK, Bloomberg, White & Case, The Hampton Group and other companies from various business sectors, ambassadors of a number of leading countries, experts, journalists, and others.
The meeting of the AIFC Legal Advisory Council was held the same day, as well as the AIFC presentation at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The event was held for the UK's leading experts in the fields of geo-economics, state development and financial markets. AIFC representatives gave detailed answers to all the questions about the financial centre's work.
The AIFC was established on the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Centre operates in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Astana International Financial Centre" adopted in December 2015. The AIFC's goal is to attract investment into the country by creating an attractive investment environment in financial services and capital markets, including securities, banking services and Islamic finance. The AIFC official launch ceremony took place on 5 July 2018 in Astana.