Astana is one of the youngest and fastest-growing cities in the world. Aiming to become a top destination for investors, it is already gaining a tremendous recognition as a regional financial hub for market participants and attracting greater financial inflows to the country. With its modern infrastructure, distinctively unique architecture, transport logistics, constantly developing education and healthcare services, Astana encompasses a contemporary ground for attracting visitors and businesses on an international level.
ASTANA DESTINATION FOR BUSINESS
The Smart Astana project aims to further improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors of Astana by integrating the technologies into the city development, fostering an operational efficiency of urban infrastructure as well as enabling the platform for ideas and knowledge sharing between citizens and business community.
Over the years, Astana has been the main venue for world political, sports and cultural events. With the development of AIFC, the city will undoubtedly become an important element of the global financial system.
The harmonious development of the capital will allow Astana to become a truly global smart city: core, innovative, efficient, safe and comfortable.
Kazakhstan has a decisive opportunity to orient its financial system towards low-carbon and sustainable development. In this regard, AIFC is devoted to attaining the main objectives of supporting projects with the primary principles of green economy in Astana such as projects aimed at increasing the efficiency of resources usage (water, land, biological etc.) and managing them, improving current infrastructure and constructing new infrastructure, improving the well-being of the population and the quality of the environment through cost-effective ways of mitigating pressures on the environment as well as improving national security, particularly water security.
AIFC entities and employees will enjoy a zero tax rate on their corporate and individual income as well as gains from the sale of securities, dividends and compensation on the listed securities.
The AIFC tax regime includes 3 categories of tax benefits that shall be effective until 2066:
1. The exemption of corporate income tax (an analogue of the profit tax) on the income from the provision of certain financial services (investment management, Islamic banking, brokers, reinsurance, etc.), and ancillary services (legal, audit, accounting, consulting), providing both participants in the providers of the above-mentioned financial services, and the AIFC bodies.
2. Benefits for investment income – exemption from corporate income tax (legal entity) and individual income tax (individuals) by income: i. From the increase in value, dividends and fees on securities listed on the AIFC Stock Exchange (issuers are not only members of the AIFC) ii. From the increase in value and dividends on shares of registered participants of the AIFC or the shares of participation in their authorised capital
3. The exemption of individual income tax of foreign providers (labour incomes) of participants providing financial and ancillary services, as well as the bodies of the AIFC. Other deductions, incl. social, remain as it is.
To facilitate a business to set up jurisdiction in AIFC and attract the best international workforce, the AIFC Expat Centre in Astana provides a variety of government and non-government services based on the single window principle. In fact, most foreign nationals coming to Astana can get an efficient centralised access to visa and migration related services, tax-revenue services, Government for Citizens Corp’s (GCC) services, call-centre services, as well as assistance in securing accommodation, educational facilities, etc. All the authorised officials of the government and non-government organisations are physically present on the AEC’s site.
Astana is currently directly connected with many global financial centres, among which are Frankfurt am Main, London, Paris, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Istanbul, New Delhi and Dubai.
By 2025 Astana has an ambition to open more direct routes to the top 50 world financial centres, including New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Zurich etc.
The borders of the AIFC are confined to 1,632 hectares within the territory of the left bank and part of the right bank of Astana, which allows companies to register now as participants of the AIFC using the extensive and developed transport, logistics and administrative infrastructure of the territory.
The territory of the EXPO comprises an architectural design of a unique quality that is specifically engineered to accommodate the AIFC’s high-tech innovative infrastructure.
At the same time, EXPO site will become foundation for building an advanced financial and technological hub at the heart of the AIFC, fit for the functioning of major financial institutions, as well as objects of technological development.
The Global Financial Centre Index 23 positioned Astana among the top 10 financial centres in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, ahead of Budapest, St. Petersburg, Almaty, Baku and other centres in the region. The ranking profiles financial centres by evaluating the main areas of competitiveness, including business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, reputation as well as the level of diversity, speciality and connectivity.