What is the AIFC?

The Astana International Financial Centre (the AIFC) is the area on the left bank of the City of Astana, Kazakhstan, with a special legal and taxation regime. The AIFC was established by the Constitutional Statute "On Astana International Financial Centre" dated 7 December 2015.

What is the purpose of the AIFC?

The purposes of the AIFC are:

  • to attract investment into the economy of Kazakhstan;
  • to establish a leading international center for financial services, which will serve Central Asia, Eurasian Economic Union, the Caucasus, West China, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe.

What are the main activities?

The AIFC promotes development of the following strategic directions:

  • Capital Markets;
  • Asset Management;
  • Islamic Finance;
  • Fintech;
  • Private Banking;
  • Green Finance.

What are the AIFC Bodies?

The AIFC Bodies are:

  • The AIFC Management Council;
  • The AIFC Governor;
  • The AIFC Authority;
  • The Astana Financial Services Authority;
  • The AIFC Court;
  • The International Arbitration Centre.

Other key players:

  • AIFC Expat Centre;
  • Bureau for Continuing Professional Development;
  • Astana International Exchange;
  • International Centre of Green Technology;
  • AIFC Fintech Hub.

Who are the AIFC Participants?

AIFC Participants are:

  • legal entities registered under the Acting Law of the AIFC, and
  • legal entities recognized by the AIFC.

What is the Legal Regime?

The acting law of the AIFC consists of the Constitutional Statute, AIFC Acts and Kazakhstan laws that are consistent with the Constitutional Statute and AIFC Acts.

AIFC Acts must be in accordance with the Constitutional Statute and may be based on the principles, legislation and precedents of the law of England and Wales and the standards of leading global financial centers.

AIFC Acts are written documents adopted by AIFC bodies for the purposes of exercising their powers.

What is the Taxation Regime?

The Taxation Regime within the territory of the AIFC is established by the Constitutional Statute and the Kazakhstan Tax Code. The tax incentives are established by the Constitutional Statute and provide the following incentives:

  • Until 2066, AIFC Bodies and AIFC Participants are exempt from corporate income tax (CIT) on income gained from financial services provided in the AIFC;
  • Until 2066, AIFC Participants providing ancillary services are exempt from CIT on income gained from legal, auditing, accounting and consulting services provided to the AIFC Bodies and AIFC Participants;
  • Until 2066, foreign-national employees of the AIFC Bodies and AIFC Participants are exempt from personal income tax (PIT) on income received under the employment contract;
  • Until 2066, individuals and legal entities are exempt from CIT and PIT on capital gain received from sale of securities listed, shares or stakes in the capital of AIFC Participants, dividends and interests from securities listed, shares or stakes;
  • AIFC Bodies and AIFC Participants are exempt from land tax and property tax for facilities located in the AIFC.

What is the Visa Regime?

Foreign nationals and stateless persons coming to Kazakhstan to conduct activities in the AIFC are entitled to obtain an entry visa either from embassies or at international airports of Kazakhstan on arrival for a period of up to five years. Such visa may be extended without leaving the territory of Kazakhstan. In addition, Kazakhstan opened its borders for citizens of several countries for a period of up to thirty days with no visa request.

What is the Language of the AIFC?

The official language of the AIFC is the English language. English is to be used in all areas in the AIFC, including AIFC Acts, records management, responses to requests, court proceedings and transactions. However, Kazakh or Russian languages can be used if requested by the AIFC Participant.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.