Kazakhstan’s National Coordinator for EXPO-2017 Visits Germany

Dec 27. MFA

Kazakhstan’s National Coordinator for EXPO-2017 Visits GermanyRapil Zhoshybayev, Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry’s executive secretary and national coordinator of the EXPO-2017 project paid a working visit to Germany on December 23. The main purpose of the visit was to promote Kazakhstan’s bid to hold an international exhibition in Astana in 2017.

As part of the visit Rapil Zhoshybayev met with Karl-Ernst Brauner, Deputy Minister for Economy and Technology of Germany, who co-chair the Kazakh-German intergovernmental working group on trade and economic cooperation. The Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology is also the competent authority which is in charge of EXPO issues.

They discussed topical issues of bilateral political, economic and trade relations. Brauner said Kazakhstan is the most important political and economic partner for Germany in the Central Asia region. This is confirmed by the dynamics of mutual visits at the highest level, the subject matters on the agenda of bilateral relations as well as high rates of trade turnover between the two countries.

According to the German side, the volume of mutual trade between the two countries increased by 26% and exceeded 3.5 billion euros in the first half of 2011. Kazakhstan accounts for 63% of the total trade between Germany and eight countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Zhoshybayev also informed Brauner of the main dimensions of the Programme for Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development currently implemented in Kazakhstan. He also spoke of Kazakhstan’s Strategic Development Plan until 2020, which defines key directions of modernization of the country for the next ten years.

Astana’s bid to host an expo in 2017 was one of the topical issues on the agenda.

Brauner stressed that Germany pays particular attention to Kazakhstan’s candidacy to host the exhibition in the young capital of the country. According to Brauner, over the twenty years of its independence Kazakhstan has achieved major economic progress, promoting the growth and welfare of the population and the country’s prestige in the world.

During a recent visit to Kazakhstan, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Vicente Gonzales Loscertales noted that “in the case of Kazakhstan, an expo would not be simply an event but would serve more as a next step in the process of development of the capital.”

“Kazakhstan has all necessary resources, the right vision and the political will. Moreover, Astana would celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017, and this is another reason and motivation for Kazakhstan… For Kazakhstan, it will be a challenging year, and this is a big advantage,” he added.

Kazakhstan proposes “Energy of the Future” as the main theme for the exposition, which will allow showcasing the world’s achievements in the sphere of new energy sources, including demonstration of advanced products and technologies in alternative and renewable energy. The theme reflects the country’s philosophy that sees energy as an integral part of its future growth and new green and clean technologies as a vital part for the world to look at and share with each other for the benefit of the mankind.

EXPO 2017 is expected to last three months, attract 100 countries and dozens of international organizations and about five million people. After joining the BIE in 1997, Kazakhstan has participated in Expo 2004 in Hannover, Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan, Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain, and Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. By the decision of an independent expert committee, among 104 participating states, Kazakhstan’s pavilion in Expo 2008 in Zaragoza was awarded with the third place. Kazakhstan will be also represented at the BIE Expositions in Yeosu, Korea in 2012 and in Milano, Italy in 2015.

The decision on the venue for the 2017 exhibition will be taken through a secret vote at BIE General Assembly at the end of November of 2012.