A new stage of the industrial revolution

Nov 07. Kazpravda

By Vladimir Osipov

A new stage of the industrial revolutionAs the author of the concept of Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) Jeremy Rifkin said that Kazakhstan has a unique opportunity to become a venue for testing the advanced initiatives in the upcoming exhibition EXPO -2017. First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, the Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev shares on the preparations for it.

– All the state authorities and public organizations are involved in the preparation for EXPO- 2017. Sizeable work is being accomplished. The state commission is at work, headed by the Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, National Plan for it is under fulfillment. A big chunk of work is underway on the registration dossier, construction planning and many other issues run by “Astana EXPO -2017” national company, established for this end in January. The Environment Protection Ministry is working at Kazakhstan’s transition to green economy and at the GreenBridge initiative.

Personally, I am in charge of meeting the obligations undertaken by our country for the preparation and holding of the international exhibition. The organization of the exhibition involves a wide range of aspects from attracting international exhibitors and visitors to the EXPO to building of the necessary infrastructure, and the Commissioner’s duties are also development of trade, economic and investment cooperation with foreign participants and promotion of programs and projects on tourist industry of Kazakhstan.

As a Commissioner I have several times met with Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Lossertales, was in meetings and talks with the EXPO organizers in Shanghai, Yeosu , Milan to study their experience. Seeing the pavilions is only part of the participants’ visit, as they expect to see the host country itself, learn about the traditions and cultural heritage, see the natural parks and historical sights, taste national cuisine dishes.

As the EXPO -2017 project  is closely linked to development of tourism in our country, informative meetings were held with the heads of tourism agencies of Germany , the UK, Austria, Italy, Latvia, China , Korea , Hong Kong, Macau and other countries, pursuant to attracting foreign visitors and tourists to Kazakhstan. The experience of these meetings will be useful in the organization of the EXPO in Astana. A task force was also formed on foreign participation in EXPO 2017 under my chairmanship, composed of deputy heads of concerned government agencies and organizations.

We are working out image building support, development of tourism, attracting home and foreign guests, their stay in Kazakhstan. We are looking to involving maximum possible number of international participants, signing of individual agreements on participation in the exhibition with each country. We are getting down to this part of the work in the summer of 2014 after the approval of the registration dossier and transference to Astana of the flag and the logo of the BIE.

A roadmap is in the making for visits to foreign countries to attract participants for EXPO 2017. The schedule for them is tied with the dates of national elections there and with the bilateral cooperation potential.

As known, it is President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is considered to be the main designer of the capital, whose ideas were translated into reality by top-notch architects, such as Kisho Kurokawa , Norman Foster and many others.

In the near future Astana will grow even more beautiful and modern, complemented by grand buildings of EXPO 2017. Recently the international architectural competition was tallied up for the best sketch idea of the EXPO grounds, whose winner is the American company Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

On their design most of the energy consumed by EXPO visitors will be generated from renewable sources. And all the buildings will use solar and wind energy. Kazakhstan’s pavilion will be circled by international, thematic and corporate pavilions, creating an integrated group of buildings. Art Center is designed in the exhibition area for cultural program of the exhibition, also a zone of best practices to showcase best use of alternative energy, as well as the Congress Centre.

Our capital will not just  get yet another architectural sight , but also a legacy, a wealth in terms of  science , technology, creation of innovative environment. This project will be a catalyst for the development of new industries that will provide a unique experience and employment opportunities, at the same time laying the new principles of «green» building, new standards in this field.

Through it, the projects, vital for the development of the capital’s infrastructure, such as the new railway terminal, another air terminal, hotels, holiday homes and shopping facilities will also be implemented. And most importantly, more comfortable living conditions for the citizens will be created thereby.

To Kazakhstan this exhibition is another opportunity of showing to the world not only its history and culture, but also the achievements, the innovative potential. As a national project, EXPO 2017 is able to give a powerful impetus to further economy diversification and upgrade, to the development of tourism, hotel industry and service sector, small and medium-sized businesses.

Besides the constructed EXPO facilities will work for the future, positioning of Kazakhstan and our capital as a major international exhibition and info-presentation venue. Pursuit of fast, on-the-spot bonanza is understandable, but that does not frequently happen, as the international exhibitions’ record suggests. However, there is a recent example of EXPO 2010 inChina that brought a $ 12 billion-profit to the organizers.

And it is not only the hosting countries that benefit by such international events , but also the ones that  place there exhibition pavilions there. Some countries get a many-fold return on the investment in the exhibitions by way of the subsequent tourism revenues.

The theme of EXPO -2017 «Energy of the Future» is particularly relevant, given the expected shortage of energy resources and environmental disasters that pose global threat and that the rational use of energy resources is a strategic task in Kazakhstan, identified in Kazakhstan — 2050 Strategy.