Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) could serve as a financial hub centre for the Belt & Road Initiative in Central Asia, said the Governor of AIFC, Kairat Kelimbetov.

During an interview at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum 2019 in New York City, Kelimbetov spoke highly of the recent visit by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to China, saying that the development of a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and China has a huge significance.

“It means bigger size of economic cooperation, and in order to have a good cooperation, not only between two countries, but developing of the entire Central Asian region, we have to have the financial hub in Central Asia, and we agree with that the Astana International Financial Center can be such a hub for Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia,” said Kelimbetov.

Founded in 2018, AIFC plays an important role in attracting financial resources to Kazakhstan.

“So first of all Astana International Financial Center is a common law jurisdiction where we created a new financial centre base. And also we have a new stock exchange, which is like a joint venture between us, Nasdaq and Shanghai Stock Exchange. It means the upcoming privatisation in Kazakhstan and many other financial transaction will happen in our stock exchange under our regulation authorities,” said Kelimbetov.

Kelimbetov added that China has always been a vital partner for the development of the AIFC, which in turn helps to finance the Belt and Road Initiative project in Central Asia.

“Already the biggest commercial Chinese bank,China Construction Bank established a presence. They opened a branch office in Kazakhstan, and we do believe the other commercial banks are also coming.

And also the China Development Bank, it is the biggest development bank in the world, also established a presence. So we do believe that the AIFC will be a infrastructure financing facility hub for development not just physical infrastructure but also to serve for the financial connectivity,” said Kelimbetov.