Astana Times, 30 March 2017
Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) has partnered with Vantage Financial Centres (VFC), an exclusive association of international financial centres. The partnership will grant AIFC the privileges of the association and is to boost its profile internationally. The association includes such well-known international financial centres as Tokyo, Toronto, Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. Members of the VFC receive consulting support and assessments of their activities from other members of the association. Also, all the centres can take an active part in international high level events which are used for the exchange of experience and expert opinions on increasing the competitiveness of financial centres.
Joining the association is a timely step towards the establishment and development of the Kazakh centre, the press service of the AIFC reports. Members of the VFC have created Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) since 2007, which is based on more than 29,000 evaluations of financial centres from the online questionnaire. The index also takes into account more than 100 indicators of organisations, such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and reflects the competitiveness of financial centres.
The ranking examines five key areas: business environment, infrastructure factors, financial sector development, reputation and general factors, and human capital. The AIFC aims to create favourable conditions for investment and finance and to develop the securities market, ensuring its integration with international capital markets. The AIFC also intends to develop insurance, banking and Islamic finance markets in Kazakhstan. The centre provides a special legal regime based on the principles of English law, independent financial regulation in accordance with international standards, tax preferences for a period of 50 years, simplified visa and labour conditions and English as an official language in the territory of the AIFC.
The AIFC seeks to become a financial hub for the Central Asian region, member states of the EAEU, the Caucasus, Western China, the Middle East, Mongolia and Europe. It is planned that the centre will be located within EXPO 2017 and supported by modern infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies.