Islamic finance, AIFC law conferences among Astana Finance Days events

NUR-SULTAN – Astana Finance Days hosted the Financing the Economy through Capital Market Instruments Forum, Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Law Conference, Islamic Finance Conference and other events July 3 and 4. Also, several memorandums were signed over the two days of meetings.

Photo credit: astanafindays.org.

On July 3, Astana Finance Days hosted the Financing the Economy through Capital Market Instruments Forum. Speakers at the conference discussed the Silk Road project, as Kazakhstan brands itself a transit hub between China and Europe.

“We have quite ambitious plans for the Silk Road project. We understand that for Kazakhstan it is not only a challenge, but also a great chance and prospect. The government aims to work substantively on each project around this large global Silk Road project,” said Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Zhenis Kassymbek.

Also, Astana Finance Days hosted July 3 the AIFC Law Conference. The speakers discussed the latest changes in the law of the AIFC and explained the legal features of the AIFC. The practical aspects of the application of AIFC law and the possibility of implementing initiatives in maritime and transport law within the framework of the development of the AIFC were also discussed. Special attention was paid to the AIFC Court based on the principles of law of England and Wales. The speakers stressed the importance of alternative dispute resolution at the International Arbitration Centre.

The AIFC Islamic Finance Conference took place during the July 3 and 4 Astana Finance Days. Participants discussed the development of Islamic finance as well as prospects for the Islamic financial services industry in Kazakhstan. The first day of the conference also included presentations of the Roadmap for Islamic Finance in Kazakhstan and the report of the Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) on the main macroeconomic and social factors that characterise Kazakhstan’s economy and affect the country’s sovereign rating.

On July 4, a workshop of subsidiaries of the Islamic Development Bank (ITFC, ICD, ICIEC) was held where Islamic financial instruments aimed at developing the private sector of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member countries were discussed. There was also a “Halal Lifestyle: the Experience of Tatarstan” session by the Investment Development Agency of Tatarstan that showcased the experience and challenges that Tatarstan faces on the path to building an Islamic economy.

An arbitration processes demonstration took place July 4. The demonstration of arbitration and mediation processes was conducted under the guidance of the Chair of the IAC Barbara Domann, with the participation of members of the IAC Board, arbitrators and mediators.

Participants were shown how to resolve a commercial dispute through a unique hybrid form of arbitration and mediation. Participants were also able to observe the interactive debates and dialogue of famous Kazakh lawyers and international practitioners. 

A series of memorandums was signed over two days. The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), the regulatory body of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), has become a participant to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (IOSCO MMoU).

Becoming a signatory to the MMoU confirms that the AIFC financial regulatory framework complies with global standards for the information on cross border financial activities in capital markets exchange and the confidential information protection. The AFSA will enhance its supervision of cross-border securities’ transactions to ensure market integrity and stability and to facilitate enforcement of AIFC regulations and rules.

Timothy Bennett, chairman of the board of the Astana International Exchange (AIX) signed memorandums of understanding and cooperation between the China Construction Bank and CITIC Securities, the China Overseas Development Association, investment bank CITIC Securities, law firm Deheng Law Offices and the China Chengxin International Rating Agency (CCXI). In addition, AIX has signed cooperation agreements with PwC Kazakhstan.

A memorandum of understanding between the AIFC and the Busan International Financial City Promotion Centre was also signed within the framework of Astana Finance Days. Both sides intend to participate in expanding business networks, developing common business strategies and projects aimed at growing the economy and promoting regional projects, as well as sharing knowledge through various programs and events.

The AIFC Court and International Arbitration Centre (IAC) signed Memorandums of Understanding with the European Business Association of Kazakhstan (EUROBAK). EUROBAK is a strategic partner of the AIFC Court and IAC.

The signing ceremony was organised within a roundtable during the Astana Finance Days. The roundtable was opened by Christopher Campbell-Holt, registrar and chief executive of the AIFC Court and IAC. 

“Considering the importance of the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre it is a great honour for the European Business Association of Kazakhstan to sign these Memorandums of Understanding. We believe in our continued cooperation in the future,” said EUROBAK Executive Director Julie Kussidi.