This December 2019, four years have passed since the law “On the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC)” was approved, which provided the British Common law framework for its functioning as well as a favourable “English Law” environment for the participants. After a long preparatory work, the AIFC in the capital of Kazakhstan officially launched. by 2020, Kazakhstan authorities have announced the target of more than 500 companies participating in the AIFC.
AIFC, a self-styled “mid-shore” special economic zone, has an attractive business environment and the presence of a separate legal and regulatory system based on the principles of the British Common law. These measures will assure fairness and justice in its operations and will enhance the credibility of Kazakhstan in the eyes of the investors.
The AIFC Court is separate and independent from the courts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. There is a Court of Appeal whose decisions are final. The AIFC Court operates to the highest international standards to resolve civil and commercial disputes in the AIFC.
Moreover, the International Arbitration Centre at the AIFC has its own panel of international arbitrators from UK, USA, Russia, China , India and mediators who are experienced, independent and impartial. Any citizen can refer a dispute to an intermediate court, provided an agreement for intermediate settlement exists between the parties. Similarly, if there is an arbitration agreement between the parties, a dispute can be referred to arbitration, provided one of the parties to the dispute is not a resident of Kazakhstan.
The system of English justice is known far beyond England, the authority of the chairman of the court of the financial centre is a guarantee of a qualitative and truly fair judicial system. The decision of the lawyers of the AIFC is a priority, and in its work the court of the centre is absolutely autonomous.
The world’s biggest uranium producer Kazatomprom became the first company to be listed on the stock exchange in November. The company also made its long anticipated stock market debut on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Since the collapse of the former USSR in the early 1990s, Kazakhstan’s economy has seen its GDP rise meteorically, this phenomenal growth is largely due to its wealth of natural resources. In addition to Kazakhstan being the largest producer of uranium in the world, the discovery in 2000 of recoverable crude oil around the Caspian Sea in the Kashagan oil field, and the more recent discovery of gas reserves, have served to heighten international interest.
While Almaty remains the major business and financial hub, Astana has been the country’s capital since 1997 and houses all government buildings, as well as other state organisations. A growing number of oil and gas companies are starting to establish headquarters in the city.
A grand opening ceremony of the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Center (IAC) building took place with the participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“In terms of our economic and financial reforms, we are undertaking a wide range of structural and systemic reforms. We clearly understand that the rule of law is the foundation for successful economic and sustainable growth. In view of this, we attach particular attention to building a modern professional and independent judicial system with accessible justice. Creating the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre on the English law principles, we are, thereby, completing the creation of the institutional structure of the AIFC. We are also implementing one of the key initiatives of the First President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and I would like to take the opportunity to commend this initiative. We remember it is only owing to his vision that we presently see the success of the AIFC,” the Head of State said during the opening of the AIFC Court and International Arbitration Centre building, President said.
“We understand and accept that this goal is extremely ambitious. It will require stable high-quality economic growth, attracting and retaining new investments and technologies. However, we are not afraid of reforms. Therefore, for the first time in the territory of the former Soviet Union, English law will be successfully applied as part of the overall justice system in our country. I am confident and convinced that the making of the AIFC Court from among the most respected and high-profile British judges will also ensure the ultimate success of the AIFC Court. Today, the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre are now starting to write their own history and will develop an element of trust locally and globally. The time has come to make use of our competitive advantages and find our own niche within similar institutions,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“I would like to mention a very important fact from the history of our judicial system. From the 15th century onwards, the main court in Kazakhstan was the Court of Biys [‘sages’]. The institute helped us achieve peace harmony through fairness and justice for everyone,” the President added.
Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met yesterday with Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov. The Secretary expressed strong support for the U.S.-Kazakhstani enhanced strategic partnership and looked forward to continuing to strengthen bilateral relations with the new government of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The Secretary welcomed recent statements by President Tokayev on increasing political participation in Kazakhstan and actions to strengthen the protection of fundamental freedoms for the people of Kazakhstan.
The Secretary praised Kazakhstan’s global leadership in the repatriation and reintegration of its citizens from Syria, and encouraged Kazakhstan to share its experience with other nations. The Secretary also commended Kazakhstan’s support for a lasting peace in Afghanistan.