The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) opens new opportunities for businesses from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Central Asian countries and the Caucasus. Representatives of the leading Russian companies in Moscow were introduced to the perspectives and principles of the AIFC’s work. Kazakh delegation spoke at a presentation recently about the favorable terms of doing business at AIFC, which includes a simplified visa regime, exemption from taxes for 50 years and a special jurisdiction.

KAIRAT KELIMBETOV, GOVERNOR, AIFC:

 - Asia and Eurasia are the two most important markets to us. We expect most investors from China, South Korea and Japan. Nevertheless, most of the investors are expected from the region of the post-Soviet space, the EAEU and Central Asia. The Astana International Financial Center plays the role of a gateway for all investors – world, global, regional with the aim of investing in Kazakhstan and the region. Most importantly, Kazakh citizens will have the opportunity to be involved in large-and-medium sized investment projects in infrastructure, logistics, oil refining, and agriculture.

According to Russian economists, Kazakhstan is one of the key participants in the construction of land corridors of the new Silk Road. The AIFC will provide investors with optimal conditions and a set of understandable tools for investing in this global infrastructure project. In addition, the AIFC exchange will provide the opportunity to invest in attractive assets in the region.

OLEG KUZMIN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL:

- Globally, we see investors’ interest in emerging markets and in local products. An important advantage is the model, namely the availability of English law, independent judges and developed infrastructure.

Russian economists say that the timing of the launch of AIFC is perfect as China is also embarking on its global One Belt, One Road project. China is actively building new railways and highways through Central Asia and Russia towards Europe and the Middle East.

ALEXANDER GABUEV, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CARNEGIE MOSCOW CENTER:

 - Many projects in the extractive and manufacturing industry are implemented. All these projects need financing via the issuance of bonds and shares placement. The center, which is located right in the region, is built according to international law with clear and transparent rules. It is the same level of service that people get in London, New York and Hong Kong. The only difference is it is cheaper. Astana has all the chances to compete for the title of the regional niche center.

The Kazakh program of privatization of state assets has attracted the Russian investors. One of the main points of the program is the access to the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the largest state-owned companies in Kazakhstan. The investors have become the first residents of the AIFC exchange.

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