Astana has a bright future as a regional financial hub in Central Asia

Astana has a bright future as a regional financial hub in Central Asia. In his state-of-the-nation address, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighted the development of a new financial centre in the Kazakh capital. The experts of London's largest business and financial centre believe that Astana can provide the Kazakh business with foreign investments and can provide the necessary support.

SHERRY MADERA, SPECIAL ADVISER FOR ASIA, THE CITY OF LONDON CORPORATION:

 - So I think that Kazakhstan is a really critical place in central Asia. It really doesn’t have much opportunity to actually have competitors in the central Asian region. So there is a real opportunity for Astana itself to become a global financial centre in its own right. Of course, the City of London knows a little bit more of being the global financial centre. I think there is a real opportunity for our firms here in the city to be able to go and set up in Astana to bring the standards that have already been set in terms of the global financial centre.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev also spoke about the importance of the digital transformations and highlighted the need for transitioning to a cashless economy. Kazakhstan can learn from its strategic partner China which has gained significant experience in online sales and electronic commerce.

XU HAIANG, EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL SCIENCES, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES:

 - We moved from industrial to digital and internet economy. There are multiple innovations in this sector. China is a worldwide leader in cashless payments. Payments using telephone applications and online sales are very convenient for people. Kazakhstan also began developing this sector. It is important to develop the economy in accordance with modern requirements.