Written by 9:00 International, Member, News

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana, hosts the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) which is a new financial hub for Central Asia and its neighbouring regions.

When AIFC and Frankfurt Main Finance signed the joint Memorandum of Understanding back in 2017, they sought to hereby strengthen the relationship between the financial industries of Kazakhstan and Germany by close cooperation and mutual exchange of information. Besides that, both parties agreed on sharing human capital in order to drive the development of the cities into global financial centres forward.

“Sharing best practice and delivering cooperative initiatives that benefit the economy and wellbeing of both countries has been at the heart of the relationship between the Astana International Financial Centre and Frankfurt and we look forward to recognising the achievements and the next phase of our work at the annual ‘Astana Finance Days’ to be held between 27 and 29 June 2022 in the capital, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan” – James Martin, AIFC Chief Investment Officer.

The AIFC’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable economic development of Kazakhstan and the region and support the country’s policy of modernization and growth. The institution supports both large corporations, as wells as newcomers in the market, in raising their competitiveness and accelerating stakeholders out of a large and growing number of members. Besides that, AIFC engages in FinTech and green finance among other exciting areas.

The growing economic prosperity in Central Asia attracts an increasing number of investors and international companies. Despite its dependency on fossil fuels, Kazakhstan aims for a transition to renewable energy sources. The country also plans to implement digital technologies in key sectors of its economy, with the goal of becoming one of the top 30 global economies by 2050.

the nur-astana mosque is golden-white and has four high, narrow towers at the corners and a large dome in the middle of the building.
Impressive by day and night: the Nur-Astana Mosque is one of Nur-Sultan's many landmarks.

What you probably did not knew about Kazakhstan and its capital – yet!

Nur-Sultan, which hosted the first Expo in a central Asian country in 2017, has a futuristic cityscape. Most of the state-of-the-art architecture was set up in the beginning of the 21st century, which gives the city a young and modern spirit. Some might know the country’s capital by the name Astana, which changed in 2019 to Nur-Sultan with the intention to honour the former president Nursultan Nazarbajev.

The city’s landmark is the 105m tall Baiterek (“tree of life”) tower from who’s top level you can get a 360-degree view of Nur-Sultan. The Nur-Astana Mosque is the biggest in Central Asia and offers space for 5,000 worshippers inside. Another impressive building is the shopping and entertainment centre Khan Shatyr which is said to be reminiscent of a yurt where Kazakhs lived for centuries as they roamed the country as nomads. AIFC is located on the former site of the hosted Expo 2017 exhibition and surrounded by more architectural masterpieces.


The Korgalzyhn Nature Reserve 130 km south of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a paradise for wildlife watchers and nature lovers. If you travel further to the interior, you will get to know the diversity of Kazakhstan: black beaches at Lake Alakol, ski resorts on the slopes of Almaty and impressive mountain lakes.

Images: Unsplash and Pixabay

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