By Leman Mammadova
Kazakhstan is inviting Azerbaijani investors to the platform of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan Beibit Isabaev said at a conference on "New Opportunities for Financing and Business Development" in Baku. The conference was organized by Astana International Finance Center (Kazakhstan).
Isabaev added that the idea of creating the AIFC belongs to President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. For the first time in the post-Soviet space, a special jurisdiction based on the principles of the English law and the standards of leading global financial centers operates under the financial center.
He said that participants of the AIFC were granted unprecedented tax benefits in the form of exemption from corporate and individual income taxes until 2065. He added that simplified visa and employment regimes are provided.
Isabaev also added that the AIFC should become a financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the republics of the Caucasus, the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union) and the territory of Western China.
In conclusion, the ambassador expressed confidence that the AIFC will become a good platform for long and mutually beneficial cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The largest financial service provider in the Asian region has set ambitious goals: attracting more investors to the country's economy, raising the level of financial services to them, developing the securities market in Kazakhstan, improving insurance, banking services, etc.
The new financial centre is positioning itself to attract $ 40 billion of investments by 2025 and ensure about 1 percent growth in the carbon-less GDP of Kazakhstan.
The center established in 2015 on the initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the “100 Concrete Steps Plan” aimed to achieve the country’s entry into the top 30 developed countries by 2050.
Thus, within the framework of this center, entrepreneurs are offered to be exempt from taxes for 50 years. Additionally, AIFC also provides visas to foreign citizens for a period of five years, which creates conditions for entrepreneurs to travel to Kazakhstan without a visa. Moreover, case on any issue that will arise here will be resolved in accordance with the UK legal system, thus it creates great confidence in foreign investors.
Almost 100 companies have been registered in Astana International Financial Center. Local authorities have claimed that this figure will reach 500 until 2020.
Astana International Exchange elected Shanghai Stock Exchange and U.S. NASDAQ as strategic partner.
AIFC will lead to strengthening of Islamic banking in the region, the expansion of the capital market, strong investment flows to the country, as well as a strong boost to the country's economic development.
Nazarbayev said the center would be a catalyst for attracting foreign capital and bring the stock market to a new level of development.
Kazakhstan will be represented on the stock exchange by its national companies. Among them are Air Astana, Kazatomprom, Kazaxtelekom, Kazmunaygaz and others.
Kazakh authorities predict that the new center will attract $ 2 billion to the country's economy.
The official opening ceremony of the International Financial Center took place at the Astana EXPO Center on July 5, 2018, within the framework of the international conference "Astana Finance Days".
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