“Astana” International Finance Centre (АIFC) will be ready to receive its first clients after the exhibition EXPO-2017. This date is declared personally by its head manager Kairat Kelimbetov. Despite the fact that Western investors look to that idea with some skepticism, and the Russian with the fear that the “Astana” in danger of becoming the new offshore zone, the potential of Kazakhstan to occupy a niche “financial harbor” Eurasian region there.
To create an international financial hub, which was conceived to become the center of “Astana”, Kazakhstan did not start yesterday. Launched by a presidential plan “100 concrete steps” clearly defines how to change the state to receive a new impetus to economic and hence political and social development. And just after the creation of an international financial center will play an important role in this. Starting for example with the fact that the companies that reach a АIFC receive unprecedented conditions: the absence of obligations to pay taxes for 50 years (this applies VAT on imported raw materials used for investment projects), really working the Anglo-Saxon model of law, as well as a special visa and foreign exchange conditions.
With regard to the operational work of the financial center, according to Kairat Kelimbetov, it is planned that in the “Astana” takes the Kazakh exchange trading, where it will be held IPO of state-owned companies. As well the assets of the National Fund and the Single pension savings will find their managers on the АIFC. The State Islamic securities will be placed on the АIFC.
“We understand that this project is a large and complex case. It is important to be able to be interested in our region, to turn АIFC in the center of financial services in the framework of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”. We need to take this niche and begin to develop gradually. We look forward to the participation of international financial institutions, big businessmen who come to Kazakhstan, making sure that you can work and I am confident that with the full support of the activities under this project will be interesting” – Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed in a meeting with members of the management Board of АIFC.
Opportunities for investors of the financial center will be shown at the end of this year. And the members of the Management Board of “Astana” note that if all the prescribed legislation and working conditions of AIFC will be done, Kazakhstan will join the small group of countries that were able to integrate into the modern stream of state-building. Especially due to the fact that in the Eurasian region such areas are unavailable. According to the plan of development, financial center will provide services to the financial markets of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia and in the future and the Caucasus as well. During a meeting with Russian businessmen in the framework of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum President Nursultan Nazarbayev mentioned reducing level of investment from Russia to Kazakhstan and then invited entrepreneurs of strategically important state to work at the site “Astana” AIFC.
According to foreign financial analysts the fact of the creation of financial center in Kazakhstan – good idea. Now there is country’s favorable economic time: the national currency have survived a series of devaluations, and the whole course of macroeconomics moved to inflation targeting, respectively, prices in Kazakhstan now acceptable for investors. Especially as a special offer for the transfer of large and major state-owned enterprises into private hands.
For the local capital market development, the Centre is working to establish, together with the strategic partners from among the leading exchanges in the world the high-tech exchange infrastructure AIFC. Now already held talks with the London Stock Exchange and the Metal Exchange, NASDAQ, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ Dubai, New York Stock Exchange.
On the other hand, despite the attraction of foreign players in the area of AIFC, analysts believe that local investors should not be left aside, which in the future may become the successors of technology and study the way of doing business. Moreover, foreign companies may come and go. And the introduction of new business technologies will allow players to develop Kazakh-quality financial services that affect multiplier effect when the business model applies to the domestic market.