Digital Transformation of a Country’s Image: The Case of the Astana International Finance Centre in Kazakhstan




digital transformation, country branding, place branding, investment attractiveness, immigration, image policy


A strong positive image is an important asset for all countries around the world. Simple recognition of a name or geographic location is not enough to make a successful brand. People should want to visit, live, and preferably work and invest in the country. The research methodology for this article used Simon Anholt’s approach. Anholt is the author of the widely recognized system Nation Brands Index which measures the power and quality of each country’s “brand image” by combining the following six dimensions: Exports, Governance, Culture and Heritage, People, Tourism, and Investment and Immigration. In this article, the authors selected one important dimension, “Investment and Immigration,” using the case of the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC), which was created to enhance and promote Kazakhstan’s investment image. The expected outcomes of the study include assessing the perception of how the AIFC used digital technologies to build its brand as a part of the country’s image, and discussing the digital context of developing investment attractiveness. It also covers a short literature review on the theoretical and empirical aspects of digital transformation and presents a case study and a questionnaire-based survey to illustrate the impact of digital transformation, and especially the use of digital technologies for the AIFC’s image promotion. The conclusion summarizes the findings of this research and discusses some implications for investment and immigration attractiveness and the image of the AIFC.


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How to Cite

Zhanibek , A., Abazov, R., & Khazbulatov, A. (2022). Digital Transformation of a Country’s Image: The Case of the Astana International Finance Centre in Kazakhstan. Virtual Economics, 5(2), 71–94.