President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Dr. Bandar Hajjar has said the bank is a strategic partner to Kazakhstan and will continue to strengthen relations and increase its project portfolio in the Central Asian country.
Hajjar said on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Global Finance Forum in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, that the bank is actively supporting socio-economic advancement in Kazakhstan. He pointed out that the bank portfolio in Kazakhstan has grown to roughly $1.5 billion in two decades covering key areas such as infrastructure, trade finance, agriculture, private sector development, and Islamic finance.
The IsDB president added that the establishment of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is a milestone in the history of Kazakhstan, as it has become a regional financial center for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). He noted that AIFC ranked first in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia rankings, and ranked 51st in the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) rankings.
Hajjar explained that the IsDB can work with AIFC not only to promote Islamic finance but also contribute to the development of the capital market, noting the great work done by the Astana Center since the official opening to date.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Islamic Finance Conference (IFC), during their participation in the second session of Astana Finance Days conference, discussed important issues related to developing Islamic finance, and the IFC’s role in promoting the principles of Islamic finance, as well as the prospects of the Islamic financial services industry in Kazakhstan.
In today’s sessions, the experts discussed the use of Islamic financing tools in the the economy to attract investment, in addition to reviewing the main trends of Kazakhstan Islamic Finance Road-Map, prepared by a consultant under the technical assistance grant from the IsDB and the report of the Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) on the macroeconomic and social factors that characterize the economy of Kazakhstan and affect the sovereign rating of the country.
Originally published on www.gulftoday.ae