ASTANA -- The Kazakh government Thursday (July 5) inaugurated the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) to bolster the country's role as a regional financial hub, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in a statement.
The AIFC is expected to attract foreign and domestic investors and encourage them to finance large-scale infrastructure projects, as well as set new standards of corporate governance and promote green innovation.
The centre will be governed by English law and subject to international arbitrage, a first in the region.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the inauguration, Kazinform reported.
"AIFC participants will have access not only to the capital of Kazakhstan, but the entire region and the world. Here we have unprecedented conditions that have no analogues in the post-Soviet space," Nazarbayev said.
"I am sure that the development of the AIFC will help create a competitive, efficient and transparent financial market in Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the wider region," said Natasha Khanjenkova, the EBRD's managing director in Central Asia.
"We at the EBRD are particularly pleased with the level of understanding and partnership between the two institutions and the commitment of the AIFC management," she said.
The EBRD is a major and longstanding partner of Kazakhstan, having invested more than $8.7 billion (3 trillion KZT) in the country's economy.