In the lead-up to ASTANA FINANCE DAYS (AFD), we talked about the perspectives of the Astana International Financial Centre with the participant of the AFD Conference, Anton Didikin, the professor of the Law Faculty of the Higher School of Economics, the Chairman of the Board of the Modernization Fund, the member of the subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship under the Eurasian Economic Commission Board.
- How did you get to know AIFC and Astana Finance Days?
- For the first time I found out about the AIFC establishment in 2015 after the adoption of the Constitutional Law. Already in 2016, within the framework of the Astana Economic Forum, I presented to colleagues from the AIFC Authority a practical commentary on the Constitutional Law issued by the Modernization Fund in two languages. Since 2016, I regularly maintain contacts and take part in the AIFC events, in particular, in the forum of Islamic finance in March 2017, also in business events of the Eurasian Week in Astana in 2017, EXPO-2017 and others.
I found out about Astana Finance Days from the media and the official page of the AIFC Bureau for Continuous Professional Development on Facebook.
- Which of the activities of Astana Finance Days you are most interested in, besides the forums where you will participate?
- I plan to participate also in the Global Finance Forum and the Astana Islamic Economic Forum.
- Answers to which issues would you like to receive from the speakers of Astana Finance Days?
- The most important issue is the existing juridical practice, which can become the basis of the decisions of the AIFC Court, the issues of legal acts harmonization of the AIFC with the national legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the features of control and supervision over the residents’ activities.
- Is AIFC capable to become a financial hub in the CIS region?
- AIFC has all the prospects to become a world-class financial centre, and not only in the Eurasian space. Which is characterized by the existence of administrative barriers, the lack of a single currency and units of account, the contradiction of national legislations, since world standards and common law principles will be applied.
- How the Russian academic circles evaluate the AIFC and other initiatives of Kazakhstan?
- Unfortunately, in the scientific community of Russia do not know a lot about the AIFC project. However, I myself publish articles and materials. And I also make presentations on this topic at various conferences. I think that with time the situation will improve.
- As an expert in law, how do you assess the possibility of coexistence of two legal systems in one state?
- This combination of the two legal systems is a unique legal experiment for the Republic of Kazakhstan. In some ways, it is similar to the coexistence of different legal jurisdictions in China (the special legal status of Hong Kong, Macao, the practice of a foreign language in Shanghai and etc.) and Dubai, but which also has its own national identity. It is a matter of fixing in the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan a special legal regime for Astana and the adoption of a special Constitutional Law "About AIFC". Which rules out an arbitrary change in the "rules of the game" for investors at the level of regulations or departmental documents. Undoubtedly, the new practice of the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre will become an element of the interaction of legal systems.
- How do you assess the experience of other countries that created legislative "enclaves"? Is Common Law capable of attracting major investors?
- The answer is obvious. The success of the Dubai International Financial Centre since 2004 in the state, whose legal system is based on Islamic Law, shows that the creation of a financial centre is possible with consistent and thoughtful steps in creating new financial institutions. That is why there are no competing projects in the Eurasian space for AIFC, and it is a good reserve for the successful project implementation. Common law is easily broadcast to other jurisdictions if there is a trade-off in the national legal system, which is why investors use it.
- Thank you for the interview!