David Testa, Executive Director, and Leilya Shamel, Associate Director, from DDCAP were attendees at the official opening of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in early July. This was a well-organised and well-attended event, with approximately 5,000 delegates travelling to Kazakhstan’s capital city, including prominent regional political and financial leaders, perhaps most notably HH Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the president of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, and Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds.
Islamic finance was one of the key themes that ran through discussions and presentations during the event, particularly in the context of developing the AIFC as a regional hub for equity and debt capital markets. The Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative was heavily featured, and there were also successful sessions on socially responsible investing and FinTech.
In addition to gaining particular insights from the successful opening of the AIFC, including meeting Governor H.E. Kairat Kelimbetov and other senior AIFC representatives, David and Leilya were also able to catch up with DDCAP’s Kazakh and regional clients, as well as maintaining our positive contacts with the British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Michael Gifford, and members of his embassy staff.