Astana International Financial Centre

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Coordinates: 51°05′28.5″N 71°24′46.1″E / 51.091250°N 71.412806°E / 51.091250; 71.412806

Astana International Financial Centre
IndustryFinancial Services
HeadquartersNur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Key people
Kairat Kelimbetov (Governor)

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is a financial hub in Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), Kazakhstan that officially launched on July 5, 2018.[1]

On 20 May 2015, the President of Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the “100 Concrete Steps” Plan of the Nation to implement the five institutional reforms, designed to provide a strong national platform needed to achieve country’s ambition of joining the top 30 developed countries by 2050.[2] As part of the Plan of the Nation, the AIFC was established with a special legal status to be based on the EXPO-2017 International Specialized Exhibition infrastructure.[3]

The Constitutional Law "On the Astana International Financial Centre" approved on 7 December 2015 provides a legal framework for the functioning of the AIFC as well as a favourable environment for its participants.[4]

The Astana International Financial Centre plays one of the main roles in attracting financial resources. It is positioned as a financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe.[5]

As of 2019, the number of enterprises working with the AIFC increased to 235 companies from 26 countries. These companies include financial institutions such as the China Construction Bank, China Development Bank and CICC (Hong Kong) and Wood & Co (Czech Republic), the largest investment banks. According to the AIFC Chairman, by the end of 2020, the number is projected to increase to 500.[6]

AIFC bodies[4][edit]

AIFC Management Council[edit]

It is a supreme authority that includes high profile leaders of global financial corporations and is chaired by the President of Kazakhstan. The main objectives of the Management Council include the determination of the strategic directions for the AIFC development and the assistance in the development of the favourable conditions for the formation of a leading financial centre. AIFC Development strategy was determined by the Management Council during its first meeting on 26 May 2016.[7]

AIFC Authority[edit]

The AIFC Authority was established on 28 December 2015 and is responsible for the development of the overall strategic plan, promotion of the AIFC in the global markets, attraction of the potential participants to the AIFC.

Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA)[edit]

AIFC International Arbitration Centre[edit]

The International Arbitration Centre shall review disputes which the parties have agreed shall be settled by arbitration. It is planned to be launched in 2018. The opening ceremony of the AIFC International Arbitration Centre (IAC) was held in July 2019 during the Astana Finance Days conference in Nur-Sultan.[8]

AIFC Bureau for Continuing Professionals Development[edit]

AIFC Bureau for Continuing Professional Development is responsible for human capital development and plans to retrain over 2000+ specialists in the financial industry of Kazakhstan and, ultimately, creating critical mass of professionals for AIFC eco-system and beyond. In addition, the Bureau is responsible for investment and financial literacy programs related to AIFC’s core pillars including Islamic Finance, Fintech, Capital Markets, Green Finance, as well as Asset and Wealth Management.


English is the official language on the AIFC territory.

Priority Sectors[edit]


It is the goal that the AIFC become a regional financial centre and be a top 20 leading Asian financial centres within 10 years.[9]

Equities Trading[edit]

The AIFC has partnered with NASDAQ and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.[9] The AIFC is the shareholder of the Astana International Exchange (AIX) that was established in 2017. AIX's first trading session was held on November 14, 2018, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of tenge, the national currency of Kazakhstan. The session was opened by Kazakh President Nurshultan Nazarbayev.[10]

Green Technology[edit]

The center uses renewable energy.

Information Technology[edit]

The AIFC supports the development of information technologies in Kazakhstan. An important organization that helps achieve this is Astana Hub. Even though it is independent from the AIFC, it has shared functions in the tech field.

Astana Hub - International IT and startup hub is a business incubator in Kazakhstan that provides support for new and start-up IT projects. The Astana Hub was launched on November 6, 2018 in the Kazakh capital by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarabyev.[11]

Other initiatives[edit]

The AIFC creates competence centres at Kazakhstan’s major universities to improve investment literacy and help students develop skills in finance, investment and other industries. Eight platforms have already been established at Almaty universities.[12]


  1. ^ "Central Asian global financial hub AIFC opens in Astana". Business Standard.
  2. ^ "Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK / 100 Concrete Steps". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  3. ^ "Astana International Financial Centre to Cement Capital's Place in Global Finance". Astana Times. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Constitutional Law "On the AIFC" dated 7 Dec 2015" (PDF).[dead link]
  5. ^ "Number of foreign companies in Kazakhstan increases 25 percent in the past year".
  6. ^ "AIFC yearly report indicates key achievements, projects".
  7. ^ "The first meeting of the Management Council of Astana International Financial Centre was held in Astana | Invest In Kazakhstan". Archived from the original on 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  8. ^ "AIFC International Arbitration Centre opening ceremony, EdTech and FinTech summits mark second day of Astana Finance Days".
  9. ^ a b "AIFC, green tech centre and IT start-up hub to begin operating in 2018".
  10. ^ "Kazakh President opens AIX's first trading session".
  11. ^ "Kazakhstan will support and incentivize IT innovation, says President".
  12. ^ "AIFC opens competence centres at major Kazakh universities".

External links[edit]