One of the youngest and fastest-growing cities in the world, Astana celebrated 20th anniversary of becoming the capital of Kazakhstan on July 5th, 2018. In the past 20 years Astana has not only become the local administrative, cultural, and business centre, but managed to transform the economy of Kazakhstan. This year we are celebrating Astana becoming a recognized financial centre with the Official Launch of the Astana International Financial Centre.
The Official Launch ceremony featured as the flagship event at the Astana Finance Days, a multi-day forum that brought together heads of states and multilateral institutions, international policy makers, and experts from academia and think tanks. At the Astana International Financial Centre, we believe in bringing together the best minds to develop local and regional markets and promote better connectivity and cooperation. We have identified key developing areas and are working on addressing the challenges and opportunities for establishing Astana as a global financial centre.
The Astana Finance Days organised an exclusive discussion of key issues across a number of forums. Different panel sessions and roundtables facilitated an open dialog on the importance of sound and recognized legal framework to support and protect markets, investment and business climate, depth and liquidity of local capital markets. Separate set of panel sessions shed light on key issues at the heart of digital economy: regulation of financial technologies, latest trends on the tech scene, the necessity of removing existing barriers, including gender bias, or risks and opportunities of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-enabled instruments. Astana strives to become the gateway to the Eurasian Economic Union and has already been dubbed “The Buckle on the Belt”—key regional financial services hub for the Belt and Road Initiative. One of the forums also debated and advocated the weight and significance of such largest international initiative in the past years. It not only addressed geoeconomics and diplomacy among the Belt and Road countries, but also the specifics of infrastructure investment as an important asset class.
Astana Finance Days spanned over the course of a several days to combine key panel discussions and plenary session with satellite events and platforms. Guests participated in discussions, witnessed the opening of trading day on Astana International Exchange, exhibitions of new tech products and services, commencing of new companies at the AIFC, and learned more about the AIFC and Kazakhstan.