ASTANA – The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) hosted the event dubbed AIFC Connect: London 2024 on Feb. 2 to exchange views on investment opportunities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, reported the AIFC press service.
The meeting brought together around 120 representatives from more than 70 organizations, including investment banks, international financial companies, law firms, and advisory companies.
Renat Bekturov, AIFC Governor, presented investment opportunities in Kazakhstan to representatives of British companies, emphasizing that strategic location between Europe, Asia and the Middle East grants Kazakhstan direct access to the major markets of the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as China and the Caspian countries.
“The global geopolitical environment is forcing countries to find new outlets to international markets and diversify their traditional trade routes. In this context, the Middle Corridor – which connects Europe and Asia – has become an important route in diversifying and strengthening the connectivity on the Eurasian continent. AIFC is an excellent platform for structuring such large infrastructure projects,” he said.
According to Bekturov, among Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). By the end of 2022, the country’s gross inflow of foreign direct investment reached $28 billion, setting a record for the past decade. In nine months of 2023, the economy attracted $19.7 billion of FDI. Investors showed strong interest in sectors such as mining, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, as well as financial and insurance activities.
AIFC plays a crucial role in enhancing the country’s investment attractiveness by providing foreign investors with a familiar jurisdiction grounded in an independent judicial system based on the common law of England and Wales, a reliable legal framework, developed financial infrastructure, innovations, and expertise, including in the field of green finance.
The United Kingdom (UK) consistently ranks among the top 10 investors in Kazakhstan. From 2005 to the third quarter of 2023, the gross inflow of investments from the UK totaled $17 billion. Currently, 62 companies from the UK, including White Hill Capital Ltd., BV Technology Limited, VPE Capital Fund Management Limited, and others, are registered under AIFC’s jurisdiction. These British companies offer services in various sectors, including finance, consulting, mining and IT.
The event included three panel sessions in which representatives from major foreign and domestic companies discussed the prospects for the development of Kazakhstan’s capital market and changes in financial services within the rapidly developing region of Central Asia.
AIFC is an independent jurisdiction with a favorable legal and regulatory environment and a developed infrastructure for starting and doing business, attracting investment, creating jobs and developing Kazakhstan’s economy. More than 2,400 from 78 countries are registered in AIFC.
In 2023, AIFC maintained its leadership in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, per the Global Financial Centers Index ranking.