His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan (second from right) attend the inauguration of the Astana International Financial Centre. Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, was also present. Image Credit: WAM

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: The Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) was officially inaugurated on Thursday in the presence of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Nazarbayev received Shaikh Mohammad, who was accompanied by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, upon his arrival at the centre.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Shaikh Mansour attend the opening ceremony of Astana International Financial Centre. WAM

The Kazakh president expressed his delight at Shaikh Mohammad’s attendance at the AIFC’s inauguration which, he said, was launched after examining the successful experiences of the financial markets in a number of countries, including the UAE.

In a speech delivered before senior international financial officials and guests, Nazarbayev said the AIFC will serve Central Asian countries by supporting the development of the private banking sector and opening investment opportunities. It will also facilitate the development of Green Finance, and support environment-friendly investments.

He also pointed out that the official launch coincides with the 20th anniversary of the founding of the capital Astana, and is part of the country’s continuous quest for modernisation and development.

The AIFC — positioned as a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe — is located at Expo 2017, and is equipped with modern infrastructure and advanced technologies. Another key strategic objective of the centre will be to provide financial solutions as per Islamic laws.

The event was also attended by Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Suhail Mohammad Faraj Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy and Industry; Sultan Bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice; Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State; Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of Executive Affairs Authority; and Dr Mohammad Ahmad Bin Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Kazakhstan.