Remarks by the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Umirzak Shukeyev, at the 150th session of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) is held in Paris on November 22-23, 2011
Nov 23. MFA
Mr Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
Delegates of the 157 (one hundred and fifty seven) member-states of the International Bureaux of Expositions.
I have the honour and the privilege to use this Address to make a political statement and to announce that both the people and the Government of Kazakhstan are putting our brand new capital – the City of Astana – as a candidate to host ‘EXPO International 2017.
In the last 20 years, we saw Astana growing from a regional agricultural centre to a world-class modern capital that is proud to have some of the finest examples of modern architecture, designed by such world-famous architects as Nicoletti of Italy, Norman Foster of the United Kingdom, and Kurosawa of Japan.
While representing the nation and the Government of Kazakhstan and also as a former Mayor of Astana, I have at my side our Minister for Economic Integration Mrs Zhanara Aitzhanova and the Deputy Mayor of Astana who will explain in detail the philosophy and the commitment of our nation’s bid for EXPO-2017.
Since ancient times, the land of Kazakhstan has connected all people of the world through trade links of the Old Silk Road. During the last 20 years the growth in trade and cultural links between Europe and Asia has been enormous, and Kazakhstan and Astana have been at the heart of these new relationships both economically and culturally.
To the world Astana became the unifying symbol of integration and interaction between the markets of Europe, Central Asia, the Russian Federation, China and countries of the Far East.
Our objective and our reason for wanting to host EXPO 2017 is to consolidate the efforts that we have made together in the promotion of trade and culture of our peoples. EXPO-2017 will provide an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the new developments and technologies behind this growth.
The key driving force for any development is energy production and – more importantly – its efficient consumption, which creates new markets and new opportunities for all.
As a nation, we have already demonstrated our commitment to playing a lead role within the international community in various spheres, undertaking last year the Chairmanship of the O. S. C. E. – the most important security and cooperation organization in Europe, and the Chairmanship of the O. I. C. (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in 2011, and also by playing host to the Asian Winter Olympic Games this year.
We have used these major political and cultural events to show the world what we in Astana have been able to achieve within a very short period of time. As a nation, with a commitment to multi-cultural approach, freedom of speech and religion, we will welcome you to Astana in a spirit of friendship and goodwill.
We are a resource-rich country, and are within top ten countries of the world in terms of oil and gas, coal, and more and more importantly uranium reserves, but let me assure you that because of our non-proliferation record and our tragic nuclear test past no one understands the importance of environmental issues and the future role of renewable energy better than the people of Kazakhstan.
We see energy as an integral part of our future exports and new green and clean technologies as a vital theme for the world to look at and for all of us to share with each other for the benefit of the mankind.
It is because of this commitment to the environment and to sustainable development, that we will make Energy of the Future the theme of EXPO-2017.
We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you as hosts to the EXPO International 2017 in our new capital, the City of Astana.
I would like to give the floor to Minister Aitzhanova.
Meanwhile let us watch a short video, which shows that entire nation of Kazakhstan is behind this bid for hosting EXPO-2017