The international exhibition “Astana Expo 2017” under the title “Future Energy” was the major international event organized by Kazakhstan this year. The theme was chosen by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev based on his long-term vision to develop sustainable energy for Kazakhstan instead of only relying on oil and gas and other mineral resources.
The exhibition boosted investments in Kazakhstan and offered a platform for Kazakh entrepreneurs to establish business contacts with foreign companies. It also became an avenue for Kazakh and foreign scientists to display their latest technological developments.
Three thousand different events were held in Astana during the 93 days of the exhibition supported by numerous volunteers including 4,500 students. In total, over 3 million national and international visitors attended the exhibition in which participated 115 countries and 22 international organizations.
The Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held on June 9, together with the official opening ceremony of EXPO 2017. The First Summit on Science and Technology of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held at the closing ceremony of the Exhibition.
Romania was an active supporter of the EXPO initiative from the very beginning and its pavilion, featuring world’s fastest laser and other advanced technologies, became one of the most-visited national stands. On July 27, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania H.E. Mr. Teodor Melescanu took part in the National Day of Romania at the EXPO.
Following the exhibition, an expert working group selected 105 best technologies presented during the EXPO by Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Romania and other countries to be studied in detail and applied in Kazakhstan. Many of these technologies will be put to use in the near future, helping Kazakhstan to use cleaner energy, reduce emissions and improve quality of air, land and water.
The success of the exhibition is also defined by the post-exhibition period. Astana’s EXPO infrastructure continues to be used productively after the event is concluded.
The “Future Energy” International Centre for Green Technology and Investments under the United Nations and the International Technology Park of Information Technology Start-ups are among the projects created and housed in the EXPO facilities. The Centre deserves particular attention as it will facilitate Kazakhstan’s transition toward a green economy, ensuring that at least 50 percent of energy produced in Kazakhstan comes from alternative sources.
The site will also host the Astana International Financial Centre, which is to become the financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, EEU, the Middle East, western China, Mongolia, and Europe. It will operate based on the principles of English common law, enjoy a preferential tax regime, and have an independent financial court at its disposal.
Kazakhstan is also working on the implementation of the Green Bridge Initiative, aimed at encouraging the easier transfer of “green” technologies between countries.
All these initiatives will serve as the foundation for attracting entrepreneurs, investors and new technology from the whole world. Thanks to the EXPO, Astana has become one of the leading world platforms for dissemination, exchange and transfer of sustainable development ideas and technologies.