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The AIFC, Emerging Technologies, and Green Finance

Oxford University Silk Road Society

Summer 2021

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Kazakhstan's Step Forward

July 2021

In collaboration with Astana International Financial Centre (AIIFC), Oxford University Silk Road Society's policy report 'Kazakhstan's Step Forward' analyses Kazakhstan's steps towards greening its development and financial markets, alongside its use of emergent technologies to counter challenges.


The full report is available below. 

Our report sections


Julia Irvin

Agriculture and water management have been identified as key sectors
in Kazakhstan’s transition to a Green Economy. Both industries are also highly vulnerable to climate change. This briefing addresses both issues in relation to Sino-Kazakh relations and Chinese investment in Kazakhstan. It recommends increased co-operation in response to COVID-19 and public protest over China’s use of the Ili River.


Increasing the Yield: Chinese Investment, Greening Agro-Industry, and Hydro-Policy in Kazakhstan

Aoife Cantrill

The following case study will recommend further steps to encourage development, including: energising participation by banks as well as Kazakhstan’s sovereign, pension and insurance funds; developing the market to attract international issuers in collaboration with the U.K.; and prioritising the development of the green bond market in Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.


Katya Yan and Julia Irvin

Kazakhstan's Green Bond Market: Assessing its Inception, Current State, and Goals for Further Development

Katya Yan and Julia Irvin

Among Kazakhstan’s chief development goals, as stated by
the Astana International Finance Center (AIFC), is the elevation of its international position as an investment destination, with the AIFC becoming a key platform for sustainable development in the region, notably by encouraging the development of innovative financial technologies and services1 which would bring Kazakhstan to the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Blockchain technology is one of these key innovations.

Sustainability of Blockchain Technology and Cryptomining at the Center of the Silk Road: Kazakhstan

Lea Gruyelle

This case study addresses the use of blockchain for anticorruption in the context of Kazakhstan and in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative. It finds that blockchain is worth further investigation with the specific goal of anticorruption in mind, and can furthermore complement the Kazakhstani government’s existing measures and respond to recommendations made by the OECD.

Ethan Hadad

Corruption, Blockchain and the Belt and Road Initiative in Kazakhstan

One of AIFC’s stated aims is to diversify Kazakhstan’s economy from its heavy reliance on extraction and export of hydrocarbons to foster ‘sustainable economic development’. However, it is important to not create a new overreliance within Kazakhstan’s export market, on extraction of another finite resource – namely
that of Kazakhstan’s vast mineral and metallurgical resources.

A Balancing Act on a Copper Knife-Edge? Investment in Metallurgy and Mining in Kazakhstan

Caitlin Russell


Julia Irvin

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