After “Expo-2017” qualitatively new technologies will enter our life, Kazakhstan Expo Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev


After "Expo-2017" qualitatively new technologies will enter our life, Kazakhstan Expo Commissioner Rapil ZhoshybayevLast year the capital of Kazakhstan was chosen as a venue for international exhibition EXPO to be held in 2017. By vote of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau Astana was far ahead of the Belgian city of Liege, having collected more than twice as many votes – 103 to 44. Thus, in the history of the exhibition beginning in 1851 Kazakhstan became the first from developing countries, where the event will take place.

In the interview with our correspondent in Kazakhstan Expo Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev spoke about the importance of the exhibition for our country and its role in the implementation of the commitments for the exhibition, taken by our state.

– Mr. Zhoshybayev, you were the National Coordinator to promote Kazakhstan’s bid to host the international exhibition in Astana and made great contributions to the victory of our candidate. Do you think what helped us to get that right?

– Thank you, but let’s not exaggerate. Let us recall that President Nursultan Nazarbayev said after the results of voting had become known: “The victory of Astana in acute competition is far from accidental. First, it is the recognition of the capital as the center and it is worth of the world ranking. “Certainly, the economic success of our state played a role in the choice of Astana. Finally, it is important that Kazakhstan offered a very topical theme of the exhibition – “Energy for the future.” So, as he said, “the choice of Astana was the fruit of the efforts of all the people of Kazakhstan.”

By itself, the exhibition theme “Energy Future” proposed by Kazakhstan reflects the most actual problem of rational use of energy resources to humanity, and its solution is a strategic priority for many countries. Underlying themes are addressing global scale, such as lack of access to electricity and the reduction of poverty. The world needs new ways of development – “green” economy and green development. Kazakhstan, despite the rich sources of raw materials for energy production, shares common interests and aspirations with other countries. Risks of depletion of traditional energy sources are great, and the consequences of their use are harmful to the environment. This is what is dictated by the desire of Kazakhstan to raise international community for collective thinking within the international exhibition.

– Why is this event important for Kazakhstan? Is it worth such efforts?

– You know there’s a saying “To see people and to show off.” It is just about the exhibition. First, exhibition demonstrates the latest records of achievements in science and technology, and second, the EXPO is a way of looking ahead. Our experts even believe that some Kazakh exhibits will belong to the day after tomorrow.

Incredible as it may seem, the show is not as costly as it seems at first glance, and with good planning will have a positive economic effect. First, the winning country attracts significant investment into the economy of the city, with large foreign investors to take part in the project. Second, the infrastructure growth of the city, and tens of thousands of jobs are created for construction of exhibition facilities and their maintenance. Third, a powerful incentive for the inflow of foreign tourists is created not only into the city but also into the country. Now we will have a large-scale work to be carried out in accordance with our terms and guidelines and regulations of the International Exhibitions Bureau.

– And is your role as Commissioner to monitor compliance with these regulations?

– The post of Commissioner of Expo is a key in the process of interaction between the international participants with the host country. Commissioner represents the State and ensures fulfillment of its obligations to prepare and hold an international exhibition.

We have provided a guarantee to ensure conditions for life and work of the exhibitors, guarantees regarding tax regulation, the provision of assistance to developing countries and others. For our part, we should take all necessary measures to support the visa, issuing permits for activities of employee, the exhibitors, preferential providing of customs matters, issues of local taxation and others.

– Why is there is a need for the appointment of the Commissioner at the stage of organizing and conducting the exhibition, and what is so special about this post?

– To answer this question, let us turn to the history of the exhibition movement in general. Expo history began in London, where the first international exhibition was held in 1851, the success of which led to the holding of a large number of exhibitions having become known around the world. Over time the number of exhibitions has increased, and it became obvious that it was necessary to take some measures to establish control over the frequency and quality of such activities. In 1928, in Paris, there happened signing of Convention on international exhibitions, which, in its turn, established the International Exhibitions Bureau (IEB) and it set up simple rules that determine the number of exhibitions, their rules and specifications. To ensure that these rules are respected, there is a need for an authorized representative of the country. Thus, the procedure for appointing Commissioners is common practice, that repeatedly proves their worth at the previous exhibitions. Commissioner of the exhibition movement is a person known by all international players. Unlike other institutions, this position is enshrined in the Convention Bureau.

– Have you already started to fulfill your duties? Please, tell us in detail what other functions are assigned to the Commissioner?

– Yes, I have. As a Commissioner, I met with the Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Loscertales. He called the victory of Astana a triumph, because for 20 years of his leadership he has not seen such a rupture of the vote candidacy to host the Expo, and again congratulated the people of Kazakhstan and Astana with the victory. During his January visit to Kazakhstan hebecame convinced that the process of preparation for the exhibition started quickly enough, and it shows the importance of the national organization of the event. V. Lossertales assured that the IEB will support us in the negotiations with the countries participating in the international event and in the quality of it. According to him, it is of particular importance when the President and members of the Government of the exhibition host country express personal support for this international event.

In addition, due to the fact that the “EXPO-2017 in Astana” project is closely related to the theme of the tourism progress of our country, I had informative meetings with the representatives of the tourism industry of Great Britain and Austria. Such arrangements are planned in the future in some other states. We are interested in the experience of these countries not only as a highly developed tourist destinations, but also as a potential partner in the implementation of the Kazakhstan projects.

As a Commissioner, I have to continue the work started as the National Coordinator to promote Kazakhstan’s application. These are, first, the control over the implementation of the agreements reached during the work to get support of our bid. We established diplomatic relations with several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. With many countries we have agreed to establish and develop cooperation in the economic, cultural, and educational sectors. Secondly, I am responsible for coordinating the program of assistance to developing countries. One of the main principles of the international exhibition movement is to ensure equal and fair participation of countries willing to be in Expo. The host country should create the conditions for developing countries, as their participation will add diversity and enrich the content of the exhibition.

Part of my job is providing presentations on the progress of work on the preparation of the exhibition at the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau. Between the General Assemblies I will be participating in regular working meetings and negotiations, not only in preparation for the Expo 2017, but also for the preparation of current and future international exhibitions. This is a good opportunity to gain experience in the conduct of such complex events. For example, currently we are working on the organization of the Kazakhstan Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan in 2015. But most importantly, we will continue to work with countries to attract them to “Expo-2017” and to achieve the maximum possible number of international participants. With each country, we will sign individual agreements on participation in “EXPO-2017 in Astana.” In addition, within the framework of his competence, the Commissioner is involved in the consolidation of Kazakhstan’s initiatives related to the topic of the exhibition, as well as their integrated promotion in international markets.

– How do you assess the readiness of the government bodies of Kazakhstan to conduct such a large and important event like “EXPO-2017” exhibition?

– According to the head of the state, the support of the majority of the Member States of the International Exhibitions Bureau places great responsibility upon us, because it involves trust and hope that the exhibition in Astana will truly be a unique phenomenon in the international exhibition movement. The effect of the actions of this level will not only large and key sectors of the economy, but also the industry, the development of which is of considerable importance for the capital, that is tourism, small and medium business, hospitality and service industry, and creation of new jobs.

The first requirement for applying for the Expo is to have full support of the candidate countries in this intention. EXPO project should be a national project supported by the government, regional and local authorities.

To this end, the Government created the State Commission and the Organising Committee. Developed and approved are the National Plan of the organization and conduct of international specialized exhibition titled “Expo-2017” in the years 2013-2018, the Media plan on covering the activities of the “EXPO-2017” inside the country and acbroad. Working teams have been formed in the state agencies and there is work carried out on updating the project for the registration dossier. And yet, the main point is that the exhibition will be partaken by local (domestic) business.

Speaking about the concept of the exhibition, the Head of State put forward the following tasks: “It is important to turn Expo-2017 into the center of transition to the third industrial revolution, which includes the alternative economy, creation of appropriate high-tech materials, renewable energy, training and other issues “. Based on this, the exhibition area is proposed to be constructed with the objects of “green economy” – “smart” power, buildings with renewable energy, to equip items that match the theme of the exhibition. The construction of such a unique high-tech project is a good opportunity to make a great leap in technological development.

And the thing is not only that after the show we will get a new district of the capital with modern buildings and infrastructure, and facilities for the implementation of innovative ideas. It is important that qualitatively new technology and innovations will enter the life of the whole country.

That is the proof that Kazakhstan is already making a big contribution to the energy of the future, and it is accidental that Astana hosts the World Exhibition.

– Thank you so much the informative conversation. II wish you success in your work.