REVIEW: EXPO 2017 in Astana

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM - In November 2012, Kazakhstan was awarded a right to be a host country of EXPO-2017 international specialized exhibition.

EXPO is a global event that aims at educating the public, sharing innovation, promoting progress and fostering cooperation. Many countries intend to host the EXPO.

For international community, EXPO can be a cooperation and development platform. It gathers the entire world and presents innovative solutions to fundamental challenges of humankind. For the host countries, EXPO provides a good opportunity to build a unique pavilion, where it can showcase its innovative technology, attract investments, build new contacts and relations. Various conferences, diplomatic and business meetings allow participants to cooperate with each other, exchange ideas and come up with solutions. For attendees, EXPO may offer meetings with a huge number of international organizations, companies, who arrive at the host country to present their inventions, products and achievements. For general public, Expo project can be an educating and entertaining experience. Visitors gain great experience including education and entertainment through exhibitions, activities, concerts and shows.

Kazinform offers its readers a collection of materials regarding the EXPO-2017 and  preparation of Kazakhstan for hosting this global scale event.

Last March, speaking at the XVI Congress of Nur Otan Party Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed five institutional reforms to strengthen statehood.Firstly, it is the formation of modern, professional and independent state apparatus ensuring quality implementation of economic programs.Second - improvement of the justice system to ensure citizens have access to justice. Transition from the existing five-level justice system to a streamlined three-level system.Third - industrialization and economic growth based on diversification.Fourth - development and implementation of the large-scale project which will strengthen Kazakhstan's identity and create conditions to form one civil society. Fifth - transparent and accountable state. The package of anti-crisis measures. Speaking at the Governmental Hour in the Majilis, Kazakhstan's Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev told about the anti-crisis measures for 2016-2018.In particular, the anti-crisis plan for 2016-2018 worked out by the Government and National Bank consists of two parts: formation of a new structure of the economy, in the framework of 5 key areas identified by the President in the state-of-the-nation address 30 November 2015; swift action to stimulate economy's growth and financing."Given the deterioration in the global economy and forecasts of Kazakhstan's economy development in 2015, the Government has developed additional operational measures aimed at stimulating economic growth, support of employment and household income," said Mr.Dossayev.According to him, the main areas of operational measures will be as follows: point support of the real sector of the economy; active implementation of key infrastructure projects in the framework of the state program Nurly Zhol; support for small and medium-sized businesses; improvement of housing affordability; acceleration of agro-industrial complex projects' implementation; realization of FIID projects; social stability and support of employment.Beginning from 2016 measures will be taken to bring the investment climate of Kazakhstan in line with OECD standards.Dossayev said that to enable attraction of investments into the country's economy, in the first quarter of 2016 there will be adopted the detailed plan to improve the investment climate in accordance with OECD standards. In January 2016 there will be established government and regional councils to manage the work. EXPO-2017: powerful impetus to the modernizationAs it is known, Astana received an honorable right to host the World Exhibition "Expo-2017". First of all, EXPO is an opportunity to show the world the new face of Kazakhstan. The point at issue is not just holding of the event but also the development of the country since gaining its independence and further development in the next 20 years to come. EXPO will show the country's development and its latest achievements. Kazakhstan has chosen the theme "Future Energy" to promote and discover sustainable, global energy solutions. EXPO 2017 will last three months, include representatives from approximately 100 countries and is expected to draw three to five million visitors, which would make it the largest international gathering of its kind Central Asia has seen.Rio de Janeiro: preparation goes according to the planThe biggest sporting event on the planet is coming to Rio de Janeiro. Kazakhstani athletes have repeatedly proved that they are among the strongest in the world. What can we expect from the upcoming competition. According to Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan Saken Musaibekov, Kazakhstan has already won 43 licenses to participate in the 31's Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.He specified that the headquarters on preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was established in Kazakhstan. "The preparation process is underway. There are no problems right now. We are heading the right direction. For the first time we have earned all 10 Olympic licenses in weightlifting for the Rio Olympics. This is a great achievement," the Deputy Minister noted. According to his words, the national team of Kazakhstan will have to participate in 70 international sports events with Olympic licenses at stake.In turn, head of the committee for sport and physical culture of the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan Ilsiyar Kanagatov told that the national team of Kazakhstan planned to earn at least 60 Olympic licenses. "Everything goes according to the plan. We planned to have more than 40 Olympic licenses in ten sports by the end of 2015. We have achieved it. I can even say that we will have more than 60 Olympic licenses in other sports. That's a plan for the next year," he informed.As earlier reported, the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be held from August 5 through August 21, 2016.

A pamphlet titled "Welcome to future" was presented at the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi.This pamphlet of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UAE was published in the English and Arabic languages. It is a good visual material about the international specialized exhibition in Astana EXPO-2017 that will take place in a little more than 500 days. The first issue of the pamphlet Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UAE Kairat Lama Sharif handed over to Director of the IRENA Adnan Amin in Abu Dhabi. As a permanent representative of Kazakhstan in the IRENA K. Lama Sharif took part in the briefing dedicated to the preparation for the 6th session of the Assembly of the IRENA, which is scheduled for January 16-17, 2016, in Abu Dhabi. Head of the IRENA Adnan Amin noted that the Assembly of IRENA turned into the leading global platform of the highest level for discussion of the latest achievements in the sphere of renewable energy and international cooperation for in the sphere over the last few years. The Assembly of the IRENA will be the first big international meeting after the COP21, which was held in Paris. Anything related to the climate change will be an inseparable part of future development of the renewable energy and the IRENA member states have to ensure reflection of this task in the future work of the Agency.

More than 50 applications were submitted for Recommended by EXPO-2017 program from hotels, beauty shops, SPA centers, dry-cleaners and other enterprises of Astana. 15 of them have already been revised and assessed, Strategy 2050 reports citing Astana Mayor's Office.The Recommended by EXPO-2017 program was launched in the capital city last fall. The purpose of the program is to upgrade quality of the services rendered in the city as part of preparation for the oncoming EXPO 2017 exhibition and to develop the city's tourism sector. The organizers of the project are the Mayor's Office of Astana and JSC Astana EXPO 2017 National Company.

Meanwhile, a delegation from Kazakhstan participated in the work of the 6th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and in the 9th session of the World Future Energy Summit that are held within the framework of the work of the week of sustainable development in Abu Dhabi.As the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs, the main tasks of the summit scheduled to be held till January 21 are discussion of the ways of energy transformation of the world and development of common decisions on formation of the future energy. As deputy head of the secretariat of the EXPO-2017 commissioner Azamat Abdrakhimov told, the main purpose of Kazakhstan's participation in such events is demonstration of the transition of the country to the green economy and the theme of the EXPO "Future Energy", which is similar to the theme of the summit in Abu Dhabi. A. Abdrakhimov also called the summit a good platform for attracting international participants and potential partners in the sphere of renewable energy sources to Astana. The delegation held bilateral talks with Executive Director of the IRENA Mohamed El-Farnawany, the Vice President of the Organization Committee of "Dubai EXPO-2020", the Deputy Director General of the National Media Council of the UAE and ministers of energy from several world countries. Such issues as the state of the cooperation between the sides, participation of representatives of the international organization in the work of the 2nd meeting of the international participants of the EXPO-2017, which is scheduled to be held on February 24-25 in Astana, were discussed at the meeting with Mohamed El-Farnawany. He also informed about the approval of his candidacy for the post of the Commissioner of the IRENA for the EXPO-2017 and noted the relevance of the theme "Future Energy". Besides, at the other meeting the Kazakhstan delegation also discussed an opportunity of signing a memorandum on cooperation between "Astana EXPO-2017" Company and the Supreme Committee of "DUBAI EXPO-2020" for permanent exchange of information and synchronization of the work before the exhibitions. At the meeting with commissioner of the national section of the UAE at the EXPO-2017 and Deputy General Director of the National Media Council Salem Al Ameri, the sides discussed the technical issues of location of the pavilion of the UAE, its contents and participation of Asian companies. S. Al Ameri also confirmed his participation in the second meeting of the international participants of the EXPO-2017 in Astana.

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov met with president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti and heads of international companies took place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The information about the success of Kazakhstan in the sphere of improvement of investment attractiveness of the country was presented and discussed there.Besides, the interlocutors considered the reforms conducted by Kazakhstan on improvement of the investment climate that allowed to attract over USD 215 bln to the economy of the country during the last 15 years. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested over USD 7 bln in the economy of Kazakhstan and plans to continue to finance national and foreign companies investing in Kazakhstan in 2016. The participants of the meeting discussed the opportunities of expanding the number of investors in the economy of the country and mutually beneficial cooperation within the upcoming EXPO-2017 in Astana and establishment of the International Financial Center in Astana. Prime Minister K. Massimov called on foreign partners to take active part in the projects implemented in Kazakhstan. In turn, representatives of the international companies from such countries as the USA, Great Britain, Turkey and India highly praised the initiatives of Kazakhstan on improvement of the investment attractiveness of the country and strengthening of its institutional foundation and expressed their interest in development of future cooperation.

70 states officially confirm their participation in EXPO 2017. First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev met with the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia Jurijs Pogrebnaks in January at the office of the Kazakh MFA. During the meeting, the sides exchanged opinions on the prospects of further cooperation in green energy and discussed participation of Latvia at the Astana Exhibition.Mr. Zhoshybayev informed the Ambassador about large-scale activities of Kazakhstan within the preparation process to the Exhibition and opportunities for Latvian business and stressed that involvement of Latvia in the International Exhibition in Astana would give a new impetus to strengthen partnership between Kazakhstan and Latvia. In turn, Mr. Pogrebnaks said that the Government of Latvia decided to participate in the EXPO 2017 and handed out a confirmation note. As Mr. Pogrebnaks noted, Latvia is not a member of the International Exhibition Bureau and participated in the EXPO only several times. Confirmation of participation in the EXPO 2017 proves high interest and special friendly relations of Latvia and Kazakhstan. Seeking to be the greenest country in the world by 2020, Latvia expresses willingness to cooperate with Kazakhstan in the sphere of green energy. Latvia was one of the first states that supported the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to create a partnership program "Green Bridge" signing the relevant Charter. The share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption of Latvia accounts for 37.1% that is the second best result in the European Union after Sweden (52.1%).As of today, Latvia has become the 70th country that officially confirmed its participation in the International Exhibition EXPO 2017.

Chairman of the Board of "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC Akhmetzhan Yessimov informed that he would submit a proposal on optimization of the EXPO construction totaling several billion tenge for the consideration of the President of Kazakhstan.A. Yessimov informed that he would submit a proposal on optimization of the EXPO town totaling several billions tenge for the consideration of the President at the meeting with N. Nazarbayev today. Earlier, the Head of State approved the proposal on optimization of the construction totaling KZT 78 bln. However, according to him, all jobs will be preserved.

Alongside, a sitting of the working group on inclusion of guides into the program of partnership of Astana "Recommended by EXPO-2017" took place in Astana.The main purpose of the program on giving the status of a partner to Astana guides is increasing of the quality of rendered services in terms of providing information. The implementation of the program will allow foreign guests of the capital city of Kazakhstan to receive all the necessary information about Astana and Kazakhstan from the guides meeting all the international standards, Astana.kz informs. "The status of partnership guarantees that a guide provides maximum high-quality information. We will compile a unified register of guides meeting the requirements within the framework of the program. They all will be providing true and reliable information, speak foreign languages and have other required skills," representative of "Astana Convention Bureau" Ainur Zhanabilova told. Upon completion of the discussion the participants of the working group, organizers of "Recommended by EXPO-2017" Program, representatives of tourist sphere, education and cultural organizations of the capital city of Kazakhstan developed the requirements for evaluation of guides. These requirements will be considered by the commission of the Recommended by EXPO-2017 Program.

Meanwhile, Rector of the L. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Yerlan Sydykov was elected as the chairman of the Public Council of the ASTANA EXPO-2017 National Company.His candidacy was approved unanimously by all members of the Public Council at its first sitting. "Mr. Sydykov is an outstanding public and political figure. We know him as a rector of the L. Gumilyov Eurasian National University," well-known journalist Artur Platonov told presenting the candidacy. In turn, Chairman of the Board of "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC Akhmetzhan Yessimov added that Yerlan Sydykov was a well-known person in the country. "I think we made the right choice," A. Yessimov said referring to the election of the new chairman of the Public Council of the Astana EXPO-2017.

In Jan-May, Kazakhstani companies received orders from the Astana EXPO-2017 Company totaling KZT 32.3 bln, according to Chairman of the Board of the Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov."We want Kazakhstani companies and producers to participate in the construction of EXPO facilities. We think that the EXPO is one of the projects that support the business sphere in the country during the crisis. Now, all the regions of the country are participating in the EXPO construction," A. Yessimov noted. According to him, "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC has signed memorandums on cooperation with all the regions of the country and Astana and Almaty cities. "243 Kazakhstani companies were involved in the EXPO construction over the last 5 months. They received orders totaling KZT 32.3 bln. Besides, services amounting to 11 bln tenge will be provided. We will continue to work in this direction," A. Yessimov stressed.

At a meeting with the Head of State, A.Yessimov reported about  the course of preparation for the oncoming exhibition. "Much work has to be done in the nearest time. We must compile a final list of the exhibition participants and define the content of Kazakhstan's pavilion and other countries' objects. We need to prepare local infrastructure for holding the event and receiving the guests. Other important objectives will be to develop a cultural program, to recruit volunteers as well as to ensure post-EXPO use of the exhibition site as the International Financial Centre," the President said. In turn, A. Yessimov said that 70 countries, including 35 developed ones, had already confirmed their participation in the event. "Major transnational companies have also expressed interest in the exhibition. In whole, we expect the attendance of 100 countries," he added. At the President's instruction, the national company has cut its spending on organization of the exhibition by 53 bln tenge. Thus, the optimization of spending will make finally 131 bln tenge. Besides, the company reduced the number of top-managers from 15 to 6; it also plans to optimize personnel by 12%. Yessimov told also about the information campaign held in Davos during the World Economic Forum which aimed at further promotion of the EXPO-2017. According to him, an International Centre for Green Technologies and Investment Projects will be established on the ground of EXPO facilities. The Centre will work under the UN aegis. "More than 230 Kazakhstani enterprises supply materials to the EXPO construction site now. We have signed agreements on delivery of goods and services to the amount of 77 bln tenge. The EXPO-2017 turned into the state project which creates new jobs and preserves existing ones amid crisis," Yessimov said. "The construction of the exhibition facilities goes on as per schedule and will be finished this year. After then we will start working on the pavilion's content," he stressed. Following the meeting, the Head of State gave several instructions to Yessimov.

Preparations for the upcoming Second Meeting of international participants of EXPO 2017 in Astana in late February is one of the priorities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazinform has learnt from its press service.Set to be held on February 24-25, the Second Meeting will bring together nearly 200 representatives of countries and organizations that have confirmed their participation in EXPO 2017.To date 70 countries have officially confirmed their participation in the EXPO 2017 event in Astana.

At the 17th extraordinary congress of the Nur Otan Party, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev vowed all EXPO 2017 facilities in Astana will be constructed on time."I was told that Samruk-Kazyna [National Welfare Fund] had saved 53 billion tenge allotted for the EXPO 2017 event.  Akhmetzhan Smagulovich [CEO of JSC "NC "EXPO 2017"] reported that the company saved 155 million tenge and returned it to the republican budget," President Nazarbayev said  adding that he is convinced that all EXPO 2017 facilities will be built on time.Besides, the Kazakh President said there is no need to construct posh kindergartens with swimming pools and botanic gardens. "Kindergartens are the places where our kids learn something new. There is no need for swimming pools, botanic gardens and Doric columns," Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

Meanwhile, Almaty Mayor's Office signed a memorandum of cooperation with G Global International Secretariat.The document determines three main areas of cooperation: Winter Universiade 2017, participation in Almaty Invest 2016 Investment Forum and Innovative Forum on Green Economy Development. "The memorandum will enable the Akimat to raise Almaty's identification index, to improve the city's business climate and to attract investments," a press release of the Mayor's Office reads. G-Global is the discussion platform established on the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Its goal is to discuss the global problems and search for mechanisms of their settlement. G-Global holds the Astana Economic Forum, implements Global Ecological Development Strategy, Green Bridge Partnership Program as well as participates in organization of EXPO-2017.

Nursultan Nazarbayev President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is inviting the world to attend Expo 2017 in Astana, one of the world's most modern and green cities. The Expo 2017 global gathering will showcase developments from around the world in the field of green, renewable and sustainable energy. Expo 2017 will place Astana, Kazakhstan in the international spotlight for three months from June 10 to September 20, 2017. During the world-class event, Kazakhstan will host delegations from over 100 countries, and will showcase cutting-edge green energy and sustainability technologies that could provide solutions to energy issues around the world. It will draw three to five million visitors, which would make it the largest international gathering of its kind for both Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Kazakhstan is a major producer of non-renewable energy sources, but it has been using the profits from these successful ventures to transition to a "green" economy. Expo 2017 is expected to increase foreign investment, international trade and tourism in the country and raise its international profile, making it one of the most influential states in Central Asia. Roman Vassilenko, Chairman of the Committee for International Information, said that a key part of Expo 2017 is the Future Energy Forum. "Future energy is one of the most universal discussions of our time, which is why we have chosen it as the central theme for Expo 2017." The Future Energy Forum will attract the world's leading experts in green energy, renewables, green technologies and science-related matters. Organizers hope the Future Energy Forum will be the nexus to establish cooperation between international governments, social and business structures and academic communities, including universities, academic institutes, research centers, public foundations and NGOs. The material was taken from the website of the Kazakhstan Embassy in the U.S. https://www.kazakhembus.com/ Full version is available at https://www.ottawalife.com/2016/01/astana-emerges-expo-2017/

Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Federal Republic of Germany Bolat Nussupov met with Commissioner General of the German Pavilion at EXPO 2017, representative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany Dietmar Schmitz.The Kazakh diplomat informed the German side about the extensive work undertaken by Kazakhstan as part of the preparation for the exhibition and noted that Germany's participation in EXPO 2017 would give an additional impetus to the development of the whole complex of bilateral cooperation. Given Germany's experience in the organization of the exhibition in Hanover, as well as its advanced technologies in renewable energy and eco-industrial innovation, Nussupov called German partners to participate more actively in the project to expedite the preparation of all organizational and legal aspects. The Commissioner of the German Pavilion at EXPO, emphasizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal official confirmation of the country's participation in the upcoming exhibition in Astana, said that over the past period Germany had done a great deal of work in this area and was currently finishing internal procedures to develop the concept of the German pavilion and prepare for the signing of the relevant framework agreement. According to Schmitz, holding of the exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana will create the necessary conditions for successful diversification of the Kazakh economy. In order to present and promote EXPO 2017 in the international arena the German Commissioner proposed to use the Kazakh stand at the globally known international travel trade show ITB-Berlin, which will take place on March 9-13, 2016 in Berlin. It should be reminded that Germany was among the first EU countries to confirm its participation in the EXPO 2017 in Astana. In June 2015 the German government held a tender, following which the company Hamburg Messe- und Congress GmbH was entrusted with the construction of the German pavilion in Astana. More than 100 employees are expected to work in the pavilion area of 1000 sq.m. Leading German companies in the development of new technologies and know-how are ready to make their contribution to the success of the exhibition. For example, a multinational company Siemens AG has already stated its readiness to act as a technology partner of EXPO 2017.

Besides, Kazakhstan invites Poland, Estonia to partake in EXPO 2017. Senate Speaker Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev held meetings with ambassadors of Poland Maciej Lang and Estonia Jaan Reinhold accredited in Kazakhstan.According to the Senate's press service, Speaker Tokayev told the foreign diplomats about the implementation of the National Plan and five institutional reforms. He especially praised the amicable character of Kazakh-Estonian and Kazakh-Polish relations, fruitful dialogue between the Kazakhstani and European parliamentarians and constructive interaction within the OSCE PA. Besides, Mr. Tokayev called on Estonia and Poland to partake in the upcoming International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana.Ambassadors Lang and Reinhold said they would facilitate further deepening of parliamentary, commercial, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties with Kazakhstan.

The enlarged sitting of the board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev took place in Astana.As the press service of the Akorda informs, the main theme of sitting was strengthening of the foreign economic activity of the ministry and diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan. At the sitting, the participants also discussed future measures on ensuring participation of foreign countries in the international specialized exhibition "EXPO-2017". The President of the country also set a number of new tasks before the ministry and gave some specific instructions. The Head of State noted that the ministry was established 25 years ago when the country lived under difficult conditions. "Presently, Kazakhstan has diplomatic relations with 169 world countries. Kazakhstan has 94 embassies working in foreign countries. Besides, more than 50 embassies and diplomatic missions of foreign countries and international organizations are working in Kazakhstan. Our diplomats were involved and initiated many foreign policy initiatives in the world. Kazakhstan for the first time in its history was trying to get a non-permanent seat in the UNSC, and the country hopes for the support of the countries. Kazakhstan was also the first country to hold the OSCE Summit in this century," N. Nazarbayev said. The President also noted the contribution of Kazakhstani diplomats and expressed gratitude for their work aimed at strengthening of the sovereignty of the state and development of the foreign policy of the country. He also informed that Kazakhstan was an initiator of a number of international associations such as the CIS, SCO, CICMA and the EEU. Besides, Kazakhstan held the first in this century OSCE Summit. "Everything we do is seen by the international community. It made our country recognizable globally. We have to remember what we have done, but we also have to think about what we still have to do. We are having hard times now," the Head of State told.

JSC "National Company "Astana EXPO 2017" has inked a memorandum of cooperation with Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia under which Samsung Electronics becomes the Official Partner of EXPO 2017, Kazinform has learnt from the company's press service."Samsung is an internationally acclaimed company with offices in all corners of the world. It is well-known for its advanced technologies, innovations and novel solutions in the first place. That is why we are honored to partner with it. Samsung will play an active part in the exhibition because its technologies are reliable. We are delighted that Samsung has made a decision to become our official partner," CEO of JSC "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" Akhmetzhan Yessimov said at the signing ceremony.President of Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia noted that ‘EXPO 2017 is undoubtedly a milestone for Kazakhstan'. "This young and dynamically developing country is the leader in its region. As a global leader in innovations Samsung is honored to contribute to holding of this event in Kazakhstan. We are sure that EXPO 2017 will be a success and that Astana will become one of the world's greatest capitals," he said.JSC "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" and Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia have plans to promote the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 in the nearest future.Recall that nearly 10 large companies have already become official sponsors of the EXPO 2017 event, namely NCOC, Shell, Air Astana, Cisco Systems, JSC Kazkommertsbank, JSC Samruk Energy, JSC Kazpochta and more.

President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska received H.E. Serzhan Abdykarimov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Czech Republic with concurrent accreditation in Slovakia, on February 4.According to the press service of the Kazakh MFA, during the meeting Ambassador Abdykarimov handed his credentials to President Kiska.The sides also discussed current state and prospects of Kazakh-Slovak bilateral relations, stressing the need to activate commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Abdykarimov briefed the Slovak leader on modernization of Kazakhstan's economy within the framework of the Nurly Zhol program and the National Plan "100 specific steps on the implementation of five institutional reforms", upcoming parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan and country's foreign policy initiatives. Kazakhstani diplomat underscored that promotion of Kazakhstan's bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 and holding of the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana are the priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy in the short term. President Kiska praised Kazakhstan's achievements in political and economic reforms and expressed confidence that friendly relations and constructive dialogue between Slovakia and Kazakhstan will further strengthen.In conclusion, the Slovak leader wished the ambassador success in his diplomatic activities in the country.

According to Mayor of Astana Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, a greater number of tourists is coming to Astana for the EXPO-2017 than it was earlier expected; he told it at the enlarged sitting of the department of state revenue of Astana today."The EXPO is a difficult test for our people. We have never had anything like this before. This event will last 90 days and 5 million people are expected to come to Astana for the EXPO. We had a meeting with Chairman of the Board of the Astana EXPO-2017 National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov this morning, and considered the analyses and forecasts that show that the number of tourists would be greater than expected. We think it is going to be about 50 thousand people being in Astana additional every day of three months of the exhibiton," A. Dzhaksybekov noted. According to him, the city administration has a task to render service at a high level to all the people living and coming to Astana. "We have to receive, accommodate, feed the guests, render them high-quality services. Therefore, we have to work, we have to prepare," he stressed.

In the opinion of Mayor of Astana Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, prices for food products may increase in Astana during the EXPO-2017."We have to understand if we are able to ensure provision of food products in Astana when the demand grows multiple times. We will also have to minimize the logistics problems, etc. so the prices remained at the same level. However, if the demand goes up significantly, the prices may follow. It is possible," the Mayor of Astana said at the sitting of the department of state revenue of Astana today. According to him, the talks are now held with suppliers and manufacturers from the neighboring regions. "We have to increase our potential in this sphere, because we still have the issues to address in this regard," A. Dzhaksybekov added.

Several big events will take place in South Kazakhstan region within preparation for the EXPO-2017.A gold tournament among representatives of the show business and sport of Kazakhstan, which is going to be titled "EXPOCUP-2016", will be held in the region. Besides, the information tour for children of orphan houses for development of regional tourism and the international forum "SITF" and different flash-mobs. Authors of the innovation projects dedicated to "Future Energy" will be invited to the national exhibition. It is expected that about 200 thousand people will visit the EXPO-2016 from South Kazakhstan region. Besides, a special commission is now working in the region on selecting volunteers for the participation in the EXPO. The applications from 240 people have been submitted and 100 of them are already approved. All of them will take part in special training courses with the participation of international experts. It was noted that Kazakhstani manufacturers are attracted to implementation of the EXPO project. 7 memorandums on cooperation in the sphere of construction of construction of the EXPO facilities have been signed between general contracting organizations and local manufacturers.

The first nine hotels and restaurants were approved within the program of partnership of Astana "Recommended by EXPO-2017", the press service of the city administration informs.The official ceremony of awarding certificates and signs to the first participants of the Program of partnership of Astana "Recommended by EXPO-2017" was held in the capital city today. Chairman of the commission of the partnership program of Astana "Recommended by EXPO-2017", deputy mayor of Astana Nurali Aliyev, representatives of "Astana Convention Bureau" LLP and heads of different hotels of Astana and representatives of the other service institutions took part in the ceremony. As Nurali Aliyev noted; "One of the most important tasks within preparation for holding the EXPO is rendering of high-quality service. The level of development of the tourist sphere depends on the level of holding of the EXPO. Therefore, we hope that we can achieve all the set goals together". As a result, the status "Golden partner of Astana" was awarded to Soluxe Hotel Astana, Radisson Hotel Astana, Astana Mariott Hotell and Korean House restaurant. The sign "Silver partner" was awarded to Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Astana. Ibis Hotel Astana, Grand Park Esil Astana Hotel and Duman Hotel won in the category "Bronze partner". Confectionary "Peshnan" received "Partner of Astana" certificate. Thus, the official partners of Astana will be given the right to post their brands on the websites of the city administration, "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC, "Astana Convention Bureau" LLP, etc. As of today, 50 applications have been submitted for participation in the program.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan Erik Utembayev held a meeting with Minister of Environment of Poland Jan Szyszko and discussed the opportunities of strengthening cooperation between the two countries, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs.The interlocutors noted the great potential in development of interaction in the sphere of alternative sources of energy within the climate policy, in the sphere of attraction of investments, introduction of modern environmental solutions, green technologies and in the sphere of joint research. J. Szyszko stressed that the planned international exhibition EXPO-2017 with the theme "Future Energy" was an important project because it provided for great opportunities for demonstration of technologies of Poland, presentation of advanced projects that can draw attention of scientists of the world and businessmen. He is also confident that the EXPO will help to activate bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Poland. Besides, the sides noted the prospects of cooperation within the framework of the initiative of Kazakhstan "Green Bridge" that includes development of green technologies. The Polish minister expressed the interest in participation in the projects of Kazakhstan implemented in the sphere of degradation, desertification, Aral Sea, restoration of woods, development of ecosystems. According to him, Poland has successful experience in addressing these problems.

The Second Meeting of international participants of EXPO 2017 is scheduled to be held in Astana in February, Kazinform has learnt from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.The upcoming two-day meeting will bring together over 200 delegates from the countries that have officially confirmed their participation in the EXPO 2017 event. Participants will assess the work done so far and define further steps in preparations for this grandiose event.According to the ministry, over 70 countries and 13 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation in the EXPO event. JSC "NC "Astana EXPO-2017" has already signed the participant agreements with 26 countries.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Israel and Cyprus  Dulat Kuanyshev presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.According to Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the ceremony the sides have discussed the current state and prospects of bilateral relations of Cyprus and Kazakhstan as well as cooperation within the framework of multilateral institutions. The Ambassador noted that the promotion of Kazakhstan's candidacy for non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 is one of the most important tasks of the country's foreign policy. He informed the President of Cyprus on the modernization of society and economy of Kazakhstan on the basis of the state programs Nurly Zhol and the National Plan "100 specific steps" to implement the five institutional reforms, upcoming parliamentary elections as well as international initiatives of Kazakhstan in the sphere of nuclear disarmament. Speaking about the country's preparation for the international specialized exhibition "EXPO-2017" in Astana Mr. Kuanyshev urged Cypriot side to participate in the event. Cyprus President stressed that Kazakhstan and Cyprus are committed to the highest ideals of peace, freedom and economic prosperity, and expressed satisfaction with the state of relations between the two countries. He praised Kazakhstan's achievements on the path of political and socio-economic modernization and expressed interest in further strengthening bilateral cooperation. The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades congratulated Dulat Kuanyshev on his appointment to the post and wished him success in his work. During his stay in the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador D. Kuanyshev has also met with Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides. They discussed the issues of bilateral collaboration and international agenda.

Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Hanhuey gave an exclusive interview to Kazinform correspondent.- Mr. Ambassador, how do you assess the current level of Kazakh-Chinese relations?- I think that now the Kazakh-Chinese relations are at a high level of development. In 2015 the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chinese President Xi Jinping made visits to China and Kazakhstan respectively. In addition, the countries exchanged visits at governmental and ministerial levels.At the same time I would like to mention cooperation in practical areas, for example, we are planning to build a number of plants and factories, we are going to take part in the construction of infrastructure facilities in Kazakhstan. Agreements on 52 projects worth $ 24 billion are already signed. I think that is the result of a specific program combining the Economic Belt of the Silk Road and "Nurly Zhol". There are plans to develop joint collaboration in the production of media products. This year, we plan to release stories about the history of relations between the Chinese and Kazakh peoples.Our states actively cooperates in a multilateral format with the UN, SCO, CICA and other international organizations.- What can you say about the cooperation in agriculture?- We have agreed on deliveries of Kazakhstani agricultural products to the Chinese market. Chinese consumers appreciate quality food produced in Kazakhstan. We plan to increase grain imports.More people in China want to buy organic meat. Therefore, we rely on purchasing 500 thousand heads of sheep and then we plan to gradually increase the volume up to 1 million sheep. In addition, we need joint investments for the construction of dairy farms, greenhouses and processing facilities. In my opinion, it will deepen cooperation in agriculture.- What can you say about the collaboration in the field of transport?- Currently, there are rail routes running through Kazakhstan to Europe. It is necessary to develop cooperation in the field of logistics, building warehouses and terminals. - Mr. Hanhuey, in 2017 Astana will hold EXPO exhibition...- We urge state agencies and companies to actively participate in the EXPO-2017. Chinese companies are interested in this event. Chinese President Xi Jinping is going to take part in the opening of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.I believe that holding of the exhibition will give a positive impetus to Kazakhstan in its development. Innovation, clean energy opens up new possibilities for the country. China is in many ways a leader in the field of new energy - solar, wind, etc. We will cooperate in this sphere.I take this opportunity to congratulate readers of Kazinform on the Spring Festival. I wish you happiness and health! Let me wish accord and prosperity to our peoples and countries!- Thank you for the interview!

The Senate Committee considered the draft law on preferences for EXPO-2017 participants.The participants of the enlarged sitting of the committee for finance and budget of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan considered the draft law "On ratification of the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Exhibition Bureau on preferences for the official participants of the EXPO-2017 in Astana". As the press service of the Senate informs, the document is aimed at ensuring favourable conditions for the participants of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 with the theme "Future Energy", which is scheduled to be held from June 10 through September 10, 2017 in Astana. The ratification of the agreement will allow to have legal frameworks for providing preferences to the official participants of the exhibition in order to create more favourable conditions for participation of foreign countries. The document is submitted for the consideration of the Senate.

Kazakhstan plans to spend 194 bln 500 mln tenge on completion of construction of EXPO-2017 and Universiade-2017 sites as well as on implementation of infrastructure projects under the Nurly Zhol program. Minister of National Economy Erbolat Dossayev said it at the Governmental session. "In order to timely finish these projects, 194 bln 500 mln tenge will be allocated. This amount was formed from tenge-dollar exchange rate difference and was initially envisaged for implementation of Nurly Zhol program in 2016," clarified the Minister.

BesidesKZT 85 bln will be allocated for completing construction of EXPO-2017 facilities, the Minister added. "KZT 85 bln will be allocated for completing construction of EXPO-2017 facilities including KZT 60 bln for forming of the content of the exhibition and pavilions, establishment of the IT infrastructure and the other events," he noted. Besides, KZT 15 bln is provided for completion of construction of housing and a shopping center in the territory of the EXPO-2017 and another 10 bln for finishing construction of the terminal and reconstruction of the runway of the Astana airport before the exhibition begins.

Kazakhstan plans to open 24/7 information centers working on the one-stop principle for EXPO-2017 participants, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Alexey Volkov told at the enlarged sitting of the committee for finance and budget of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan.The draft law "On ratification of the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Exhibition Bureau on preferences for the official participants of the EXPo-2017 in Astana" was discussed at the sitting today. The establishment of the centers for rendering of civil services to EXPO-2017 participants is one among many preferences and conditions created for the official participants of the exhibition. Thus, commissioners of the participating countries and employees of the countries' pavilions will be exempt from all the taxes. Besides, all countries' commissioners and their family members will be given free visa for one year. The preferences for EXPO-2017 participants will be valid from March 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017. The taxes preferences will be valid through March 9, 2018.

In February 2016, A Kazakh delegation headed by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to the Republic of India. In New Delhi, Zhoshybayev held meetings with Additional Secretary of External Affairs of India Ajay Gondane, Chairman of the India Trade Promotion Organisation and Commissioner of the Indian National Section in EXPO 2017 L. Goyal and representatives of Indian business circles. At the Ministry of External Affairs, the sides discussed the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in all areas. Zhoshybayev presented a letter of appreciation on behalf of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed to President of India Pranab Kumar Mukherjee for the support of Kazakhstan's bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. During the meeting, the sides discussed simplification of a visa regime for tourists and business people taking into account the forthcoming EXPO 2017. In order to create favorable conditions for developing long-term collaboration in tourism, it was proposed to consider possible signing of an inter-agency document on mutual simplification of group tours for citizens of Kazakhstan and India based on the example of the singed Memorandum (ADS Agreement) between Kazakhstan and China. At the meeting with the Indian EXPO Commissioner, the sides exchanged views on further cooperation within EXPO 2017 and discussed technical terms of participation in the event. Goyal noted that India is willing to demonstrate innovations in the sphere of green energy. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, India is among 10 leading states generating alternative energy. The country set a task of increasing renewable energy capacity five times to reach 175,000MW by 2022. Following the results of the meeting, Zhoshybayev and Goyal signed the Agreement on Participation of India in EXPO 2017. Thus, 74 states and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation in EXPO 2017. In addition, during the visit, a presentation of EXPO 2017 and investment projects of the East Kazakhstan Region was organized for representatives of major Indian companies on the initiative of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Embassy of Kazakhstan, MFA informs.

 R. Zhoshybayev paid also a working visit to the Kingdom of Belgium.Within the visit, meetings were held with the leadership and representatives of business circles of the Walloon region.During the negotiations with the Vice President of the Walloon Government, Minister of Economy, Education, Commerce and New Technologies of Walloon Jean-Claude Marcourt, the sides discussed current state and prospects of developing bilateral relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Belgium. Moreover, Zhoshybayev informed about the preparation progress to EXPO 2017 and invited Belgian business people to attend the International Exhibition.The sides noted that participation of companies in the sphere of green energy would contribute to strengthening cooperation of Kazakhstan and Belgium and facilitate entering a new level of interaction. According to the Belgian Minister, they set an ambitious task to transit the whole energy system of the Kingdom to renewable energy by 2050. According to the National Plan of RES development, the task is set to reach 13% of renewable energy capacity by 2020. In addition, Marcourt stressed that Belgian companies are ready to share their experience in green energy.During the visit, Zhoshybayev also visited the GreenWin organization that unites small and major enterprises, universities, research centers and training centers involved in development of green economy of the Walloon region. Speaking before representatives of business circles of the region, the EXPO 2017 Commissioner informed about opportunities for developing business in Kazakhstan. The main stress was put to governmental measures aimed at improving investment climate in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Following the results of negotiations, the leadership of the Belgian company expressed its willingness to take part in the Astana International Exhibition.

21 hotels are being constructed now in Astana as part of preparation for EXPO-2017 International Specialized Exhibition. First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rapil Zhoshybayev told it at a plenary session of the Kazakh Senate today."The construction of 21 hotels goes on as per schedule. As you know, we plan to finish the construction of a new railway station and a new airport terminal in Astana by EXPO-2017. Presently, we focus on tourism and visitor reception issues," said the Deputy FM. Recall that EXPO-2017 Exhibition will be held in Astana from June 10 through September 10, 2017. It will bring together around 200 representatives of countries and organizations. 70 countries have officially confirmed their participation in the event, 26 more have signed agreements on participation. As many as 5 mln guests are expected to visit the EXPO. The theme of the EXPO-2017 is "The Energy of Future."

Deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan passed the bill "On ratification of the agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Exhibition Bureau on preferences for the official participants of the EXPO-2017 in Astana"."Taking into consideration that Kazakhstan is a member of the International Exhibition Bureau and a participant of the convention on international exhibitions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan jointly with "Astana EXPO-2017" National Company developed an agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Exhibition Bureau on the preferences for the official participants of the EXPO-2017 in Astana, which was signed on November 5, 2015 in Paris," First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev informed. He noted that ratification and the bill's entrance into force will allow to ensure legal framework for rendering preferences to the official participants of the EXPO in Astana in order to have better conditions for representation of wider number of world countries at the exhibition. In order to ensure interaction between the official exhibition participants and the state bodies of Kazakhstan and for simplification of the effective rendering of state services by the Kazakh side, a 24/7 information center will be opened. All the preferences provided within the agreement enter into force since March 1, 2016.

"Astana EXPO-2017" National Company plans to finish construction of the EXPO facilities this autumn, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev informed."Everything goes according to schedule approved by the International Exhibition Bureau. I think all the facilities will be finished on time. "Astana EXPO-2017" National Company plans to complete construction of all the facilities, built within the preparation for the international specialized exhibition scheduled to be held in Astana in 2017, this fall. Around this time we will make the pavilions available for interior works for participating countries," R. Zhoshybayev told. As earlier reported, the EXPO-2017 will be held in Astana from June 10 through September 10, 2017. It is expected that about 200 representatives of the world countries and international organizations will take part in it. As of today, 70 world countries have already confirmed their participation and another 26 already signed participation agreements. Besides, it is planned that about 5 million guests will visit the exhibition over a three-month period.

The profit of holding of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana will make EUR 300 million, Senate deputy, member of the committee for finance and budget Olga Perepechina informed."Holding of the EXPO-2017 in Astana provides for receiving a profit. According to the registration dossier, it is expected that the income of holding of the exhibition will result in receiving EUR 300 million thanks to sponsorship, selling of tickets, organization of catering services and rendering of other types of services," she said. According to her, the upcoming exhibition in Astana will be a good impetus for development of the Kazakhstani tourist sector. As earlier reported, the Senate ratified the agreement on preferences for the official participants of the EXPO-2017 in Astana. "Unlike the situation with all the previous exhibitions, Kazakhstan provides preferences for not just official participants but for their family members as well," O. Perepechina noted. As was also informed earlier, construction of all EXPO facilities in Astana will be finished this fall.

Kazakh ambassador to Serbia H.E. Nurbakh Rustemov held meetings with Prime Minister of the country Aleksandar Vučić and mayor of Belgrade Siniša Mali.During the meeting in the Serbian capital, Ambassador Rustemov handed Aleksandar Vučić the official invitation from his Kazakhstani colleague Karim Massimov to attend the IX Astana Economic Forum in May 2016.Utmost attention was paid to Serbia's participation in the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017.The Serbian Prime Minister praised Kazakhstan and Serbia's interaction in the political sphere, expressing hope that President Nazarbayev will pay an official visit to Belgrade.The sides also discussed the opportunity of arranging a meeting between the mayors of Belgrade and Astana and signing a memorandum of cooperation.

Foreign offices of Kazakhstan and Algeria held consultations. Kazakh delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Askar Mussinov, and Algerian side was led by Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdelhamid Senouci Bereksi.A.Mussinov informed the Algerian side of the oncoming parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, the present economic situation in the country and the measures taken by the Government on mitigation of the negative impact of the global financial crisis, such as Nurly Zhol state program and Presidential Five Institutional Reforms, Kazinform learnt from the MFA's press service. The parties discussed various aspects of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation in political, trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian, consular and other spheres. The representatives of both countries' foreign offices exchanged also views on the pivotal issues of the international agenda and noted similarity of Kazakhstan's and Algeria's positions on the main international and regional problems. "Following the talks the parties agreed to organize official visits of both countries' foreign ministers andto establish contacts between the foreign offices. Particular attention was given to the importance of establishment of the bilateral joint intergovernmental commission for trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian cooperation as well as Kazakhstan-Algeria Business Council," an official statement reads. The Algerian diplomats expressed interest in establishment of inter-parliamentary ties and friendship groups in both countries' legislative structures. At a meeting with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, A.Mussinov extended him a letter from Kazakhstan Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov with a gratitude for the support of Kazakh President's initiative on adoption of the "Universal Declaration on Building Nuclear Weapons Free World" during the voting at the UN GA session held in December 2015. In turn, Algerian Minister expressed readiness to join the Islamic Organization for Food Security and confirmed Algeria's participation in EXPO-2017. He informed also of support of Kazakhstan's candidacy for the UN SC membership in 2017-2018. At a meeting with Algeria's energy officials, the parties exchanged opinions on the current situation on the global energy market, possible areas of cooperation between the two countries in oil and gas and in renewable energy sources. Minister of Mining Industry Salah Khebri expressed great interest in the forthcoming EXPO-2017 International Exhibition devoted to the theme "The Energy of Future."

The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Prague took part in the 25th exhibition titled "Holiday World", which was organized with the support of the Ministry of Regional Development of the Czech Republic, on February 18-21, 2016.The Embassy of Kazakhstan presented the materials dedicated to the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana at the event, the press release of the Embassy reads. The Embassy also prepared video clips about the work on preparation for the EXPO in Kazakhstan, nature of Kazakhstan, tourist potential of the country and the country's capability to receive a lot of foreign guests coming for the exhibition. Business relations with representatives of the tourist business of the Czech Republic, big travel companies and hotels were established within the event in order to attract Czech and other foreign tourists to Kazakhstan.

Astana does everything to ensure maximum comfortable, safe and interesting stay of the participants of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana, Mayor of Astana Adilbek Dzhaksybekov informed at the meeting with Secretary General of the International Exhibition Bureau Vicente Loscertales, who arrived in Astana for participation in the second sitting of the international participants of the EXPO-2017, the Astana administration website informs.The sides discussed the process of preparation for holding the EXPO-2017 in Astana. "We have done a great job in terms of preparation for the exhibition since your last visit," A. Dzhaksybayev noted welcoming the Secretary General. The Mayor of Astana informed V. Loscertales about the process of implementation of the joint action plan of the Astana administration and "Astana EXPO-2017" National Company. In particular, A. Dzhaksybekov told about the measures on construction and development of the necessary utility and transport infrastructure for EXPO facilities and Astana city in general. He drew special attention to the work on improvement of the transport and logistics system that includes modernization of the Astana airport, construction of a new railway station and bus station, optimization of the bus routes network, introduction of new systems of management and control of the municipal transport. Besides, the Mayor noted a number of projects on introduction of alternative energy sources and development of innovations and shared the plans of the city administration on arrangement of the social program in Astana over the period of the EXPO-2017 and on development of the tourist sector. A. Dzhaksybayev also told about the conducted work and talks with mayors of the capital cities and big cities who already confirm their participation in the EXPO in Astana. The Astana Mayor also noted the successful beginning of the campaign on improvement of the level of service quality within the project titled "Recommended by EXPO". The best representatives of the hotel and restaurant business already began to receive certificates proving their status already. "You have done a good job on preparation for the EXPO-2017. I'm confident that all set goals will be reached. The EXPO will help Astana to become a new tourist center and help the entire world to learn more about Kazakhstan," Loscertales said emphasizing that he was happy to find out that green technologies were used in development of Astana. He also added that the EXPO in Astana was the city itself, which was a big plus. This visit of V. Loscertales to Astana was his 13th one over the period from 2009. The last time he was Astana was October 2015.

When Kazakhstan bid to host the 2017 EXPO in its capital Astana, it must have surprised many observers. It was not just that no country from the former Soviet Union had yet to host EXPO, but the theme we chose was future energy.After all, Kazakhstan is one of the world's largest oil and gas producers. Promoting new energy sources and solutions may have seemed a strange decision for a country with such large fossil fuel reserves.But five years after the historic vote by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) delegates for Astana, that theme seems more timely and relevant than ever. Energy security is an increasing concern for many countries with governments worried about how they can meet the needs of their economies and citizens in future decades.Around the world, too, the damaging impact of climate change is clearer every year, increasing fears about the legacy we are leaving for future generations. As I write this text in my office in mid-February in Astana, I think to myself that winters are clearly not as cold as they used to be when Kazakhstan's administrative capital moved here 18 years ago.The agreement reached at the COP 21 conference in December was a vital step in tackling this potentially catastrophic challenge. But commitments to reduce carbon emissions now have to be turned into concrete, deliverable policies.Green energy - affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable - is at the heart of the answer to how we protect our planet while enabling prosperity to spread. It is why, despite its oil and gas reserves, Kazakhstan has set itself a target of meeting 50 percent of its own energy needs from alternative and renewable sources by the middle of the century.Not surprisingly given these major global challenges, international attention on EXPO 17 has been strong. Last month Latvia, although not a member of the BIE, became the 70th country to formally confirm its participation. More than 30 are nations are expected to follow in its footsteps in the coming weeks.Last week, I visited New Delhi where we signed a country participation agreement with India. The fact that one of the largest economies in Asia and the world will present its green technologies agenda at EXPO 2017 will add great value to the event's attractiveness to both professionals in the field and numerous tourists. Sovereign nations will be joined by many of the world's largest companies, particularly in the energy field, who see EXPO 2017 as an important opportunity to showcase their technology and ideas to a global audience. Businesses know from previous EXPOs what a unique platform exhibitions provide to excite interest in products and services, to drive innovation and forge new partnerships.This interest, the importance of the subject, as well as the trust placed in it by the BIE, puts a lot of responsibility on Kazakhstan. We have an obligation to ensure everything is ready for the exhibition's opening in June next year and for the many hundreds of thousands of people who will visit Astana during the three months it will run.As the Second Meeting of EXPO 2017 International Participants in Astana this week will hear, we are confident of meeting this responsibility. The large exhibition site, ideally situated between the city center and international airport, is rapidly taking shape. National and international pavilions are being designed by renowned architects while the entire infrastructure that such a large event will need is in place.A similar pace of development can be seen outside the site. There are, for instance, a good number of new hotels close to completion with major investment taking place to improve transport in the city and its links to the rest of the country. Nor is it just the physical barriers to success that are being removed. We have already scrapped the need for visas for citizens from more than 20 nations to make it easier for them to visit.But while the first priority is to ensure the site and city can meet the needs of the hundreds of thousands of visitors during the exhibition, we recognize that its success will also be judged on its long-term impact. From the beginning, we saw EXPO as a national project that can help us achieve our ambition to become one of the world's most advanced economies by 2050.Our aim is to use EXPO to drive the next stage of our industrial development and diversification with a new emphasis on sustainability, high-tech and skills. The exhibition site and its buildings will, wherever possible, use the latest renewable power sources, smart energy networks and sustainable construction techniques. Their use will embed these skills and knowledge throughout our wider industry.We have also been determined that the site will have a life long after the exhibition closes. It will, for example, host an International Centre for the development of green technologies and investment projects under the auspices of the UN. The site will also be the home of the new Astana International Financial Centre which is being developed along the lines of its counterpart in Dubai. With its modern buildings and infrastructure along with the housing being constructed, it will form a new vibrant quarter in our capital city as well as a permanent home for high-tech firms, research centers and academic institutions.By raising our international profile and improving the facilities in our capital city, we expect as well that EXPO17 will provide a long-term boost to tourism to our country. Astana is a gateway to a land of remarkable natural beauty and we hope the exhibition will help show just what we can offer to visitors from around the world.It is now just over a year until EXPO17 opens its doors for the first time. By focusing on how we power our world in a sustainable way, we are playing our part in finding solutions to one of the major challenges of the century. It is why I hope that many countries, companies and individuals come to Astana next summer. You can be sure of the warmest of welcomes.The author is Kazakhstan's First Deputy Foreign Minister and EXPO 2017 Commissioner - Rapil Zhoshybayev. Source: The Diplomat

DHL Trade fairs & Events Company and Astana EXPO-2017 National Company signed a memorandum on cooperation today.According to Vice President of the Company Vincenzo Scrudato, DHL TFE will become a partner of the international exhibition. "75 countries have already confirmed their participation in the EXPO-2017. This is a good result. We, in turn, are ready to support the exhibition," he noted. During the meeting head of Astana EXPO-2017 Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov told about the project, progress in construction of the exhibition pavilion and the purposes of the event. He also told that 75 world countries and 14 international organizations confirmed their participation in the exhibition. "It is very important for us that such a big company as DHL TFE is ready to be a part of such a large-scale event as the EXPO in Astana. DHL Company is a geographically large company that will allow us to embrace even more territories with the spirit of the EXPO," A. Yessimov noted.

The meeting of international participants of the EXPO-2017 will be held in Astana on February 25-25, 2016.Representatives of the International Exhibition Bureau and about 270 delegates from more than 100 world countries will take part in the meeting. The meeting will be held in order to officially invite world countries to participate in the exhibition, the department for public relations of Astana EXPO-2017 National Company informed. The meeting of international participants is a key event in organization of the EXPO that is held annually, and it serves as a platform for exchange of information about the main stages of participation for the host country, the International Exhibition Bureau and participants. Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva, Secretary General of the International Exhibition Bureau Vicente Loscertales, Chairman of the Board of Astana EXPO-2017 National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov, EXPO-2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev and representatives of the Astana city administration are expected to deliver their speeches at the meeting. The organizers will present the key information about the project. Besides, 18 agreements on participation are expected to be signed within the meeting.

Kazakhstani oil and gas association "KAZENERGY" and its members have been invited to take part in the sitting on preparation for holding of the EXPO-2017 in Astana today.As Deputy Chairman of the Board of Astana EXPO-2017 National Company Alisher Pirmetov noted, according to scientists, about 50% of all energy will be generated from renewable energy sources by 2050. In this regard, companies participating in the sitting can contribute to search and development of the new forms of the green energy. Treating ecology right, introduction of new safe methods of extraction of hydrocarbons are all important. According to A. Pirmenov, Astana EXPO-2017 is interested in participation of big world companies, because their presence itself will generate the interest in the event. Therefore, the signed in 2014 memorandum on cooperation between the National Company and KAZENERGY Association provides for big opportunities for active participation of the association and its members in the exhibition. In turn, Director General of KAZENERGY Association Bolat Akchulakov noted that many years of cooperation with the biggest international organizations and institutes working in the sphere of oil and gas, electricity, alternative and renewable energy sources can be useful in preparation and holding of the international exhibition. Measures on preparation for the EXPO-2017 are taken within the framework of the signed memorandum. Thus, the Association signed memorandums with the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency. It also reached an agreement with the World Petroleum Council and the International Energy Forum on holding of joint events. Besides, reaching of an agreement with the European Economy Commission of the UN on holding of the conference of the energy ministers of the UN European Energy Commission member states and the international forum titled "Energy for sustainable development" in 2017 in Astana is considered a significant success. It is especially notable that an agreement on holding of the Eurasian Forum KAZENERGY within the EXPO exhibition was reached at the talks. B. Akchulakov also stressed that the Association would continue to render support to member companies and Astana EXPO-2017 Company in terms of preparation for the exhibition.

Since January 2016 Kazakhstan was included into the global international project called "Chinese Friendly International" functioning under the name of "Chinese Friendly Kazakhstan". By the moment of the beginning of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana about 500 thousand Chinese tourists are expected to visit Astana within the project," the press service of the Astana city administration informs.As of today, the international project embraces about 40 world countries and it is aimed at attraction of tourists from China. The program provides for making tourist attractions more convenient for Chinese tourists and organization of special training courses for employees of all tourist attractions. Upon completion of the training courses, the participants of the cources will be issued certificates "Chinese Friendly Kazakhstan". The certificate means quality status for Chinese tourists. "As of today, about 30% of all tourist attractions of Astana are included into the register of programs oriented at creation of comfortable conditions for tourists from China," president of the National Association of Tourist Industry of Kazakhstan Gaukhar Zhenisbek noted.

Astana hosted the second international meeting of countries-participants of EXPO-2017 which will be held in Astana. The two-day event will be attended by heads of the International Exhibitions Bureau, commissioners of pavilions and others.Ambassador of Netherlands to Kazakhstan and chief commissioner of the Netherlands pavilion Hans Driesser talked with Kazinform correspodent about the upcoming EXPO event.He noted that the Netherlands is looking forward to the international exhibition EXPO-2017. This is mainly due to the theme of the exhibition "Future Energy". He emphasized that the theme is very relevant in the Netherlands.The Ambassador expressed confidence that the exhibition will become a global platform for companies and academic community to come up against environmental problems.Mr. Driesser stressed that the participation of Dutch companies in the EXPO-2017 will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening economic ties with Kazakhstan as the Netherlands is one of the largest economic partners of the country in the field of energy.Hans Driesser noted that Kazakh President's proposal on opening of the international center for the development of green technology using the infrastructure and territory of EXPO-2017 is very important. Kazakhstan is contributing to the implementation of the UN initiative called "Sustainable Energy for All" declared in 2011.In his opinion, the exhibition will add to the international image of Kazakhstan as a stable and prosperous state in the heart of Eurasia.The commissioner added that Central Asia is rapidly gaining popularity among Dutch tourists. It should be noted that a direct flight between Astana and Amsterdam will be launched in May 2016.

13 contracts will be signed at the 2nd meeting of EXPO 2017 international participants held in Astana .Nurbek Yergeshbayev, Deputy Director of the International Relations Department of "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" JSC revealed the news Wednesday on the sidelines of the two-day meeting."278 delegates from 102 countries have arrived in the Kazakh capital to attend the meeting," said Mr. Yergeshbayev, adding that EXPO is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the latest technologies and draft concepts aimed at solution of the present-day problems in energy sector.He noted that after today's meeting the total number of contracts signed with participating countries will make 40. "Today we are expecting to sign contracts with China, Russia, Hungary and other countries," Yergeshbayev said.It is worth mentioning that on the second day delegates will familiarize with the EXPO facilities and pavilions.To date, 75 countries have officially confirmed their participation in the upcoming EXPO 2017 event.

24 new hotels and 4 dormitories will be constructed in Astana by EXPO 2017, this has been informed by Malika Bekturova - head of management of business and industry of Astana city during the second meeting of EXPO 2017 participants.24 new hotels and dormitories will be built in the capital to provide housing for visitors of the international exhibition EXPO 2017. Recall that the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 will be held in Astana from June 10 to September 10. It is expected that the exhibition will be visited by 2.1 million people.

Largest Russian oil & gas companies are believed to participate in the upcoming EXPO 2017 event in Astana.Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation and Commissioner of Russia's pavilion at EXPO 2017 Georgy Kalamanov shared the news on the margins of the 2nd meeting of the EXPO 2017 international participants in the Kazakh capital on Wednesday. "Rosatom and other large oil & gas companies are set to participate," he told Kazinform correspondent. "At this stage it is difficult to name all the companies, but I can assure you that the number will be quite high."Russia inked the agreement on its participation in the EXPO 2017 event at the meeting. "Russia was one of the first countries to express its wish to participate [in EXPO]. We are convinced that the agreement signed today will allow us to proceed to preparations for the event. The theme "Future Energy" is quite serious and exciting at the same time," Mr. Kalamanov added.The Russian official also stressed that total area of the Russian pavilion at EXPO 2017 will total 1,000 sq.m. Russian delegates attending the two-day meeting are expected to survey the pavilion tomorrow.

Great Britain plans to show the world the latest technologies in the sphere of waste management during the EXPO-2017 in Astana, General Commissioner of the pavilion of Great Britain Charles Hendry told on the sidelines of the second sitting of the international participations of the exhibition."The list of technologies that are planned for demonstration is not approved yet. However, we will use the latest technologies that allow to reduce the demand for electricity and manage wastes. We continue to hold talks with different companies. It is expected that big companies such as Shell will be a part of the event. We also hope that a lot of universities will participate there as well," he said. C. Hendry noted that they as representatives of one of the biggest pavilions at the EXPO-2017 will try to arrange everything at a high level. Previously, the English pavilion demonstrated its high level at EXPO events in Shanghai and Milan. Besides, C. Hendry also informed that Great Britain had achieved great results in the sphere of green technologies recently. Thus, usage of the renewable energy sources increased three times in Great Britain.

A meeting of President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan is planned for February 25, the press service of the Akorda informs.The sides will discuss the issues of functioning of the EurAsEC and the priority directions in the work of the Commission planned for this year. On the same day, N. Nazarbayev is expected to meet with Secretary General of the International Exhibition Bureau Vicente Loscertales. The interlocutors are planned to discuss the process of preparation for holding of the EXPO-2017 and the contents of the built pavilions.

The EXPO-2017 will be a platform for demonstration of the best technologies in the sphere of the green energy and a solution to the issues of rational use of energy resources," Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva said, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan informs.According to her, 14 projects in the sphere of renewable energy with the total capacity of 120 megawatt were launched in Kazakhstan in 2015. In total, the volume of the energy produced from the renewable energy sources made about 700 million kWh in 2015. "The initiative of N. Nazarbayev - the Global Energy Strategy and Partnership Program "Green Bridge" - was approved at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2015," she noted. Besides, the concept on transition of Kazakhstan to the green energy and the corresponding action plan for 2020 were adopted. "Besides, the Green Economy Council has been established in Kazakhstan. As of today, 75 world countries and 14 international organizations confirmed their participation in the exhibition. 27 participation agreements have already been signed," she specified.

10 more participation agreements were signed on Day 2 of the second meeting of the EXPO 2017 international participants in Astana on Thursday.The Comoro Islands, Bolivia, Benin, Congo, Hungary, Monaco, Pakistan, the Kingdom of Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam inked the agreements with "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" JSC in the Kazakh capital. The company also signed an agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The analogous agreements were inked with China and Russia on Day 1.75 countries and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed their intention to participate in the EXPO 2017 event. The actual number of participating countries is expected to grow by 2017.Recall that 278 delegates from 102 countries descended on Astana for the two-day meeting of the EXPO 2017 international participants earlier this week.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has received Secretary General of the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE) Vicente Loscertales, the president's press service reports.At the meeting in the Akorda presidential residence utmost attention was paid to the preparations for the upcoming international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana.President Nazarbayev thanked Vicente Loscertales for paying constant attention to the problem of organization of the EXPO event in the Kazakh capital."Your visits and assessment of our work are of paramount importance. I continually monitor the process of construction and preparations. There are no construction delays," said the Kazakh President, adding that the constructions works are to be finished by late 2016. Nursultan Nazarbayev added that the preparations process itself will start right after that. Secretary General Loscertales said that the main goal of his visit to Astana is to attend the 2nd meeting of the EXPO international participants and survey the preparations for the event.

The upcoming EXPO 2017 event in the Kazakh capital will be 100% safe. Anuarbek Mussin, Director of the International Relations Department of "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" JSC, declared Thursday.He made the statement at the 2nd meeting of the EXPO 2017 international participants which is underway in Astana these days.It were the delegates from Senegal who raised the issue of security at the EXPO event in Astana. The Kazakh side assured the participants of the two-day meeting that the issue of security will be taken very seriously. "We will ensure security and protect the participants and guests of the event and their personal belongings," said Mr. Mussin, adding the EXPO town will be 100% safe.

President of the International Exhibition Bureau Vincent Loscertales thinks that the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana will be more successful than in Milan, he told it at the CCS press conference."The EXPO-2015 in Milan is considered to be successful. The Italian Government used the event to establish new international contacts. In regard to Astana, I think that the EXPO-2017 can be more successful despite the fact that the scale of the event is different. First of all, it is the theme of the exhibition - "Future Energy". We are living in the world where the problems of energy and preserving of our environment are the key. Moreover, this is going to be the first EXPO held in this region. It should be noted that the EXPO facilities were built only for six months in Milan, and they are built in Astana for the futurev use as well. We are building a new city," the president of the International Exhibition Bureau told. The organizers of the exhibition in Kazakhstan received a positive assessment of the work they do upon the results of the recent inspection. V. Loscertales praised the progress in construction which is going ahead of schedule. He also told that there were no doubts about the success of the exhibition. "We have a very positive impression from what I saw in Astana. The preparation for the EXPO is going well in Astana and ahead of schedule," he added.

First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev met yesterday, 25 February, with a Malaysian delegation headed by Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Commissioner of the Malaysian National Section in EXPO 2017 Datuk Loo Took Gee in Astana.During the meeting, the sides discussed preparation process to the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017, terms of Malaysia's participation as well as sessions of the Second International Participants Meeting. The Malaysian side expressed willingness to present its technologies in alternative and renewable energy sources at the exhibition. It's worth mentioning that nowadays Malaysia is actively developing green technologies and implementing fuel diversification policy. In 2011, the state adopted the Renewable Energy Act. Today the country is implementing a new long-term plan of renewable energy sources development till 2050. Following the meeting, the sides signed the Agreement on Participation of Malaysia in the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017. Malaysia became the 41st country to sign the Agreement on Participation in EXPO 2017. Now, 75 states and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed participation in EXPO 2017: 55 Commissioners of National Sections have been appointed.  Source: www.mfa.gov.kz

An agreement on participation of Egypt in the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana was signed in the Akorda .The document was signed upon completion of the talks of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who arrived in Kazakhstan for his first official visit. "Egypt expressed its intention to take part in the EXPO-2017 in Astana. It was noted that the theme of the exhibition "Future Energy" was quite relevant for Egypt and coincided with the development strategy and the plan on development of the energy sector of Egypt," the joint statement of the two presidents reads. Besides, the Charter of the Islamic Organization for Food Security was signed within the visit of the Egyptian President.

On February 29, 2016, EXPO-2017 Commissioner - First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to Poland, Kazinform learnt from the Foreign Office. In Warsaw, Zhoshybayev met with President of Poland Andrzej Duda for discussing the urgent issues and prospects of bilateral cooperation as well as Poland's participation in EXPO-2017. R. Zhoshybayev handed in a letter of invitation on behalf of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to attend the EXPO-2017 to the Polish leader. In turn, A. Duda said his country is ready to participate in the EXPO-2017 and expressed confidence that the forthcoming exhibition would become one of efficient tools for further strengthening and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.R.Zhoshybayev met also with Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Bańka, Minister of Environment Jan Szyszko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marek Ziółkowski, Vice Minister of Development and co-Chairman of the Kazakhstan-Poland Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation Radoslaw Domagalski and heads of Polish "green energy" companies.Sharing experience in tourism, attraction of Polish tour operators to cooperation and launching direct flights between Astana and Warsaw in 2017 - these and other issues were discussed at the meeting in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of Poland.During the negotiations in the Ministry of Environment, Jan Szyszko noted that Poland develops alternative sources of energy as per the EU directives and programs, aimed at achievement of a 20% level in gross energy consumption till 2020. In 2015, Poland adopted a new Law on renewable energy sources. The Polish Minister told also that Poland is ready to present its new developments in renewable and alternative energy sources at the EXPO-2017.The meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed consistent development of the Kazakh-Polish bilateral relations, the topical issues of international collaboration, promotion of Kazakhstan's candidacy for the UNSC membership in 2017-2018 and visa simplification issues.At the meeting with Development Minister of Poland Radosław Domagalski, the parties discussed the issues of trade-economic cooperation, fulfillment of the agreements reached at the last session of the Kazakh-Polish Intergovernmental Commission as well as participation of Poland and Polish companies in the EXPO-2017 in Astana. Following the meeting, Domagalski handed in a letter confirming Poland's participation in the exhibition to R.Zhoshybayev. The Polish side intends to sign an Agreement on attending the EXPO-2017 till the end of March 2016.A presentation of the EXPO-2017 and a press conference for the heads of large Polish companies and mass media were organized during the visit where Zhoshybayev briefed about the terms of participation in the EXPO-2017 and invited Polish businessmen to join it.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) on exemptions and concessions for official participants related to the holding of the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana", the Akorda' press service reports.The text of the law will be published in the press.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev is concerned about the increasing number of natural disasters worldwide, and he noted that holding of the EXPO-2017 is a contribution to environment protection."The number of natural disasters has sharply increased since 2000. Their total damage topped hundreds of billions of dollars. In this regard, protection of the environment is considered to be the main condition of sustainable development of the civilization. The theme of the international exhibition "EXPO-2017" in Astana, which is "Future Energy" as you know, is a contribution of Kazakhstan to implementation of the initiation of the UN called "Sustainable energy for all"," the President said. N. Nazarbayev invited the countries represented by the diplomats, who attended the meeting, and international organizations for participation in the exhibition. "Construction of all the facilities will be finished by the end of the year. I think we will be ready to proudly hold the exhibition in Astana and welcome the participants and guests from foreign countries in our country," N. Nazarbayev added.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has held a meeting with the foreign diplomatic corps accredited in Astana, the Akorda's press service reports."We need to rethink the paradigm of the global competition which sets people, economies and countries against each other," President Nursultan Nazarbayev said."25 years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and breakdown of the bipolar world order. Unfortunately, this unique historical chance for building a new global world order was not implemented. The world did not become safer, more stable or fairer, which the entire planet hoped for. The 21st century brought numerous economic, ecological, geopolitical, resource- and energy-related challenges. For overcoming them we need more qualitative change of the planet's development and many experts raise this issue. First, we need to rethink the paradigm of the global competition which sets people, economies and countries against each other," Nazarbayev said.The Head of State reminded that at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly he put forward an initiative to develop a Global Strategic Initiative-2045, which should be implemented stage-by-stage by the 100th anniversary of the UN. The goal of the plan is to eliminate the causes of the conflicts and give a new trend to development based on equal access of all nations to infrastructure, resources and markets.President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev called on countries to stop associating terrorism with religions."Multiple times I noted that associating terrorism with peaceful Islam and other religions is unacceptable. On out initiative a dialogue of the higher level on the theme "Religion and peace" will be held at the session of the General Assembly of the UN this May," the President noted.The Head of State invited all the countries to take part in this forum in order to make a common stand against terrorism, extremism and use of the religion for disguising the evil."We need a new effective system of international security. The role of the UN and its Security Council in settlement of conflicts must be increased. The Charter of the UN must be updated. Observance of the rights and laws within countries and of the international community remains to be the corner stone of the world order, which is unfortunately violated too often these days. Conflicts happen because of these aforementioned violations. Kazakhstan proposes to establish the UN Conference on a higher level in 2016 that is called to restore trust between the world countries," Nazarbayev said.President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to discuss a way to stop using sanctions policy at the Astana Economic Forum this May.Speaking at the meeting Nursultan Nazarbayev reminded that the global economic crisis continued to negatively impact the entire world."However, the crisis also gives new opportunities for development. We have to use this opportunity for laying the foundation for the right, effective and well-balanced model of the world economic development. It was the reason why I proposed to establish the Eurasian Economic Space," the Head of State stressed.He noted that Eurasia was the key geopolitical and economic factor of the world policy. It is where the interests of all global players are intercrossing - China, Russia, the USA, the EU, India, Iran and Turkey."Geopolitical games, mutual economic sanctions and other elements of the cold war have to be put away forever. Building of peaceful, stable, prosperous and economically strong Eurasia will give a powerful impetus for the global growth and serve everyone," the President said.The President called on to focus the efforts of all the states on development of cooperation on bilateral regional, interregional and global levels in economic, trade and investment spheres."Politics should not interfere with the cooperation and economic growth. The sanctions policy does not allow to reach the desired results except for the deterioration of the economic state of the countries. I propose to discuss this idea at the ninth Astana Economic Forum this May. I count on serious representation of your countries at the event," N. Nazarbayev added.The Head of State also emphasized that nuclear-armed powers must serve as role-models in nuclear disarmament process. "The aggregate yield of nuclear arsenals on the planet is 113,000 times higher of the bombs thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore, Kazakhstan, as you know, which severely suffered from the nuclear weapon tests and decided to close its nuclear testing site and renounced its nuclear arsenal, has a moral right for this and it constantly stands for reduction and liquidation of nuclear weapons. In view of this, I suggested naming nuclear disarmament the main goal of the 21st century. I am glad that the UN General Assembly backed our proposition. Three months ago it approved the Universal Declaration on Building the Nuclear-Weapons-Free World. Kazakhstan consistently contributes to the strengthening of the nuclear disarmament regime. Signing of the Agreement with the IAEA on deployment of low-enriched uranium bank on its territory in August 2015 became an important step. We have always backed the international talks on Iran's nuclear program and made a practical contribution to it," Nazarbayev said.The Head of State also noted that in December 2015 Kazakhstan supplied 60 tons of natural uranium to Iran as a compensation for shipment of low-enriched uranium from this country. This should help ensure nuclear non-proliferation regime and exercise of the states' legal rights to develop peaceful atom, non-discrimination and access to nuclear fuel."It would be right to say that the entire world realizes the complexity of this issue. As for reduction of the nuclear tests, non-possession of nuclear arms, when the whole world faces the threats of terrorism, the nuclear empires must serve as role-models in this issue. Otherwise, there will be a situation, when one country possesses and improves its nuclear arsenal, while others are banned to do it. This is quite a dangerous tendency. All the countries of the world must unite to jointly work in this area," stressed Nazarbayev. Additionally, Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev summed up the results of the foreign-policy activities of Kazakhstan in 2015."The year 2015 was marked with the active foreign-policy activities of Kazakhstan. 275 economic agreements totaling about USD 60 billion were signed with many countries during the visits I paid to different world countries in 2015," the President said.President Nazarbayev reminded of the meetings with the majority of leaders of the G20 and other countries. The Head of State emphasized that they confirmed mutual interest in strengthening of multilateral cooperation with Kazakhstan."I propose to concentrate your joint work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on implementation of the reached agreements on the highest level, which is going to strengthen our relations and bring our countries together. I set the same task before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and our ambassadors at the enlarged sitting on February 3 this year," he said.Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev added he is concerned about the increasing number of natural disasters worldwide, and he noted that holding of the EXPO-2017 is a contribution to environment protection."The number of natural disasters has sharply increased since 2000. Their total damage topped hundreds of billions of dollars. In this regard, protection of the environment is considered to be the main condition of sustainable development of the civilization. The theme of the international exhibition "EXPO-2017" in Astana, which is "Future Energy" as you know, is a contribution of Kazakhstan to implementation of the initiation of the UN called "Sustainable energy for all"," the President said.In conclusion, Nazarbayev invited the countries represented by the diplomats, who attended the meeting, and international organizations for participation in the exhibition. "Construction of all the facilities will be finished by the end of the year. I think we will be ready to proudly hold the exhibition in Astana and welcome the participants and guests from foreign countries in our country," Nazarbayev added.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to France and Monaco H.E. Nurlan Danenov met with General Commissioner of Monaco's pavilion at the upcoming International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 Julien Sellario in Paris, Kazinform has learnt from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. At the meeting Mr. Sellario said that Albert II of Monaco who pays a lot of attention to the issues of sustainable development and environmental protection plans to attend the EXPO event in the Kazakh capital. He will kick off the celebrations of the National Day of Monaco at EXPO-2017 at the Principality's pavilion. Mr. Sellario assured the Kazakh diplomat that Monaco's pavilion will offer its guests an interesting cultural program and expressed confidence that the EXPO event in Astana will be a success.Additionally, the sides touched upon the results of the 2nd meeting of the EXPO-2017 international participants held in Astana in late February where Monaco had signed the participation agreement.

There is not that much time left before the EXPO-2017 kicks off in Astana. The work on improving the quality of service in Astana is underway. Along with preparation of hotels, restaurants special attention is paid to improvement of the qualification of professional guides, because it's them who will be the people representing and telling foreign guests about the culture of Kazakhstan.Representative of "Astana Convention Bureau" LLP Ainur Zhanabilova told that the work on inclusion of guides into the partnership program called Astana Recommended by EXPO-2017 was underway. Besides, hostels and transport companies will be included into the list of recommendations by EXPO-2017 soon. "Now we are developing the requirements for guides. The priority is they have to be professionals knowing the history of the city, sightseeing attractions. They also have to speak English and the other foreign languages. We also emphasize the importance of the Chinese language knowledge as long as we expect many guests from China. Moreover, guides need to be artistic and eloquent so it would be interesting to listen to them. In general guides are the face of our city. The image of the capital city of Kazakhstan will depend on them," Ainur Zhanbilova told. The selection of the candidates will be harsh, therefore the guides of Astana are actively taking development courses, Astana.gov.kz informs.

Deputy Senate Speaker of Kazakhstan Askar Beisenbayev met with Ambassador of Japan Masayoshi Kamohara due to completion of his mission in Kazakhstan.As the press serviced of the Senate informed, the Deputy Speaker thanked the foreign diplomat for his active and productive work aimed at strengthening of the Kazakh-Japanese cooperation in different spheres. A. Beisenbayev familiarized the interlocutor with the law making work of the Senate, the main aspects of the implementation of the Nur Otan Narty and the National Plan "100 specific steps" on implementations of five institutional reforms. During the meeting the sides discussed the issues of cooperation in the sphere of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Having expressed the gratefulness to the Government of Japan for the support of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 the Deputy Senate Speaker noted that Japanese companies could use the potential of the exhibition for demonstration of their latest innovations.

Foreign affairs ministries of Kazakhstan and Singapore held ministerial consultations in Singapore.Kazakhstan's delegation was headed by Executive Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Anarbek Karashev, the Singaporean delegation was led by Singapore's Non-Resident Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zulkifli Baharudin, Kazinform has learnt from the Kazakh MFA's press service.During the consultations Mr. Karashev briefed the Singaporean side on Kazakhstan's foreign policy priorities, implementation of the presidential initiative on five institutional reforms, snap elections to Majilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, promotion of Kazakhstan's bid to sit on the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 and preparations for the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.The Singaporean delegation noted that the two countries share common stance on topical international problems and expressed intention to cooperate in terms of modernization of day-to-day functioning of foreign ministries.

Commissioner of the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to Finland in March. In Helsinki Zhoshybayev held meetings with the leadership of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy that is responsible for Finland's participation in EXPO, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as with representatives of business circles of Finland. Negotiations were mainly focused on participation of Finland in the International Exhibition in Astana, Kazinform has learnt from the Kazakh MFA's press service.During the talks with the Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland Olli Rehn, the EXPO 2017 Commissioner noted prospects opening by the globally known exhibition for expanding the scope of bilateral cooperation including green technologies. Taking into account leading role of Finland in the sphere of alternative energy, Zhoshybayev expressed hope for active involvement of Finnish companies in EXPO 2017. Rehn, in his turn, noted that a number of Finnish companies express great interest in the theme of the Exhibition "Future Energy" and are ready to showcase their innovations in Astana. The Minister said that according to the EU recommendations, Finland was to have reached 38% of renewable energy capacity by 2020. This indicator was reached in 2015. In line with the strategic plan for developing energy, Finland plans to increase the renewable energy capacity up to 50% by 2020.During the negotiations with the Under-Secretary of State Matti Anttonen, the sides discussed state and prospect of development of Kazakh-Finnish relations. Zhoshybayev expressed gratitude to the Finnish side for the support of the Kazakh bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 and for assistance in the negotiation process on accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO.A business conference dedicated to the theme of Astana EXPO 2017 followed the substantive discussion of cooperation opportunities opening for two countries. The conference was organized by the CleanTech Finland, a network of Finnish companies in the sphere of green and clean technologies, and a leading airline company Finnair.At the meeting with the leadership of the Finnair company, the parties discussed opportunities for increasing tourist and business travels, establishing cooperation with Finnish tour operators in light of the direct flight opening between capitals of two states in 2017.Zhoshybayev also met with students of the Civil Aviation Academy of Kazakhstan undertaking internship at the Finnish Patria Pilot Training and informed them about latest updates in the preparation process to EXPO 2017. The students will receive a European standard Pilot License and will be able to serve at international flights after completing the training program.

National Company "Astana EXPO-2017" takes part in the 23rd Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition with the theme "Travelling and tourism" which is being held from March 23 through March 26 in Moscow, the press service of the company informs.Representatives of "Astana EXPO-2017" held presentations of EXPO-2017 tourist products for big Russian travel agencies. The presentations focused on tours to Astana and the EXPO-2017. Besides, bilateral meetings with national and regional tourist departments and companies, travel agencies and organizations specializing in this sphere in Russia and CIS member states were held. Several agreements were told to be reached during the meetings.

Kazakh Ambassador to Kuwait Almas Abdrakhmanov met with Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs of the Emir of Kuwait this week.At the meeting the sides discussed current state of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Kuwait. They also touched upon participation of the Emir of Kuwait in the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 and other issues of mutual interest.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels today, the Akorda's press service reports.At the meeting the sides discussed the ways of strengthening political, commercial and economic ties between Kazakhstan and the European Union. Nursultan Nazarbayev and Jean-Claude Juncker also talked over the international agenda, including the issues of regional cooperation in the Central Asian region.Additionally, the two leaders held a joint press briefing for mass media in the Belgian capital.At the press briefing the Kazakh President pointed out that our country has been cooperating with the EU for the past 23 years. "Today Kazakhstan is the only post-Soviet state to sign the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU," Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed.The Head of State also recalled the latest snap parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan on March 20: "Nearly 1,000 international observers monitored the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan and confirmed the elections were carried out based on the principles of democracy, freedom and competitiveness."While speaking at the press briefing Nursultan Nazarbayev invited the EU member states to participate in the upcoming EXPO 2017 in Astana and support the establishment of the Astana International Financial Center.The Kazakh leader also noted that during the negotiations with the EC President they touched upon a wide range of issues, including visa issues and further bilateral cooperation.Jean-Claude Juncker, in turn, expressed hope for further development of commercial and economic cooperation. "The European Union is one of the most important partners of Kazakhstan," he emphasized.He also said that the EU counts on Kazakhstan's peacemaking impact since the country is an important player in the regional processes.

The National Engineering Academy of the Republic of Kazakhstan has held an extended meeting of the presidium on the results of the institution's activities and the action plan for the implementation of "100 specific steps".In his speech, the president of the academy Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov summed up the activities of the institution and its structural divisions."As part of the National Plan the Academy has performed more than 235 projects in the field of transport communication. Our scientists have participated in the implementation of "Shubarkol" and "Almaty-Shu" projects. The main objective of our branches in the regions is to establish cooperation with science. Therefore, today's meeting is mainly devoted to the successful implementation of the aims outlined in the National Plan," said chief scientific secretary of the presidium, PhD, corresponding member of the academy Gulbazar Mediyeva.In addition, G. Mediyeva spoke about the academy's participation in achieving the objectives related to holding EXPO - 2017.Talking about EXPO 2017, G. Mediyeva noted that the academy is the main organizer of the World Congress of engineers and scientists which will be for the first time held in Kazakhstan in 2017. The Congress will bring together more than 500 scientists from around. Such international organizations as IRENA and Masdar Institute (UAE) have expressed interest in the event. It is worth noting that the meeting was attended by the leading scientists of Kazakhstan.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has held a meeting in Washington with Gennady Golovkin - a Kazakhstani professional boxer and the current unified WBA (Super), IBF, IBO, and WBC (interim) middleweight champion, Kazinform has learnt from the press service of Akorda.During the meeting the President of Kazakhstan congratulated Mr. Golovkin on becoming the Ambassador of EXPO-2017 and wished him new achievements and success.In turn, Gennady Golovkin thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for his great contribution and personal attention to the development of boxing and sports in general. In turn, Gennady Golovkin thanked for the opportunity to represent the EXPO-2017 at the international level.

Mayor of Sochi city Anatoly Pakhomov promised to help in arranging tourist tours to the EXPO-2017 in Astana."Sochi city has a great experience in holding of large-scale events such as the Olympic Games, world championships. When we had a meeting with the Astana administration today, the Astana Mayor asked me how we could help in increasing the tourist flow to the EXPO-2017. I answered that our federal tour operator represented by Ilya Umansky was ready to work on implementing this task," he said. Besides, representatives of Sochi said they were ready to share experience in organization of the volunteer movement, logistics and other spheres.

Nearly 80 countries, including Russia, have confirmed their participation in the upcoming 2017 EXPO Astana, a world's fair focused on future energy innovations being hosted by Kazakhstan, Astana EXPO 2017 delegation head Kairat Kulbayev told Sputnik."More than 100 will participate... At the moment, 77 countries have confirmed their participation as well as Russia," Kulbayev said on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit on Tuesday. The Astana EXPO 2017 will debut new technologies and innovations in the energy sector including nuclear, geothermal, biomass, tidal power and other sustainable energy sources, Kulbayev explained.He noted that in addition to national leaders, the EXPO will feature entrepreneurs and large companies, with Rosatom, Russia's atomic energy agency, among the corporate participants. Kazakhstan's capital will be hosting the world EXPO from June 10, 2017 through September, with the mission of focusing the international community on sustainable energy management, energy security as well as combating climate change, Sputniknews.com reports.

A meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz was held in Astana. The diplomats discussed future development of cooperation in the sphere of atomic and oil and gas spheres.As the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs, the sides discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the energy sphere. The parties stressed the issues of implementation of the agreements reached at the recently held Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev participated in. E. Idrissov congratulated the US Secretary of Energy on successful completion of the negotiations on the Iran nuclear program and noted that Kazakhstan paid special attention to the issue because it was really important in terms of improving the trade and economic climate in the region. The sides highly praised the activity of the Kazakh-American special commission for partnership in the energy sphere and expressed their hope for future development. According to them, the Kazakh-American special commission for partnership in the energy sphere is an important mechanism for strengthening of bilateral relations in the priority sectors such as nuclear the nuclear security and nuclear energy, hydrocarbon resources, renewable energy and energy efficiency and electricity. The interlocutors also discussed the issues of strengthening of the global regime of nuclear security and nonproliferation. The American side also praised the contribution of Kazakhstan to establishment of the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank and provision of a platform for holding of two rounds of talks on the Iran nuclear program. Besides, the sides exchanged opinions on future development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the sphere of atomic and oil and gas sectors, expansion of trade and economic and investment cooperation in the context of Kazakhstan's joining the WTO. E. Moniz noted his concerns over the global climatic changes and the commitment of the US to preserving the ecology for the future generation and thanked Kazakhstan for inviting the USA to participate in the EXPO-2017.

Secretary of State of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova has met with the newly appointed Norimasa Shimomura - UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kazakhstan.The event has discussed a wide range of issues including the recent meeting of Gulshara Abdykalikova and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women which took place in New York."Recently, our women's delegation visited the United Nations which successfully held the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We had a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. We have considered joint projects which are being implemented in Kazakhstan," said Gulshara Abdykalikova.Secretary of State stressed that the main directions of the Strategy "Kazakhstan-2050", the state program Nurly Zhol and the five institutional reforms are in tune with the priorities of the five-year Programme of Action of the UN Secretary General, the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives of sustainable development of the United Nations.G.Abdykalikova expressed interest in continuing the partnership with UNDP on the entire spectrum of cooperation in the framework of co-financed projects for the further development of the Regional hub of the Civil Service in Astana, legal implementation of the center multilateral diplomacy in Almaty, promotion of the Kazakhstan Agency for International Development or KazAID, as well as in the context of preparations for the international exhibition "Astana EXPO-2017".In conclusion Gulshara Abdykalikova noted that Kazakhstan steadily striving to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women. Norimasa Shimomura, in turn, has wished to strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding between the country and UNDP.

Commissioner of the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to Malaysia in April. In Kuala Lumpur he had meetings with Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia Ali Hamsa, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Loo Gee and representatives of the scientific and business circles of the country. At the Prime Minister's Office Hamsa and Zhoshybayev discussed bilateral cooperation in trade, economic and scientific fields, including "green" technologies and attraction of Malaysian tourists to EXPO 2017, as well as active participation of local companies in the International Specialized Exhibition. The Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia noted that holding of the exhibition in Astana would stimulate technologies attraction, improve the scientific base and the image of Kazakhstan in the international arena. During the meeting at the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Loo Gee mentioned that Malaysia was ready to present its latest technological solutions in the field of clean fuel production from biomass, solar power solutions, and possibilities of solar-panel joint manufacturing and had a strong interest in joint research in the renewable energy field. According to the Secretary General, Malaysia successfully applies latest technologies in the field of energy-efficient construction, waste utilization and green mobility blueprint promotion. During the visit, a "round table" was held with the participation of representatives of the Sustainable Energy Development Agency (SEDA), GreenTech Malaysia, Petronas state oil and gas company, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Malaysia Investment Development Agency (MIDA), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and others. During discussions, it was noted that business circles are highly interested in presenting their technologies in Astana EXPO 2017; the sides also discussed possibilities of expanding cooperation with Malaysian tour agents and attraction of local tourists to the exhibition. Following the results of the "round table", a signing ceremony of Memorandums of Understanding was held with the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and the GreenTech Malaysia research center. Cooperation with the GreenTech Malaysia is particularly relevant in light of creation of the Center in Astana for the development of green technologies and investment projects under the UN auspices. It should be noted that the Malaysian side has strong experience in implementation of Public-Private Partnership mechanisms, assessment of project efficiency and their subsequent commercialization in the field of green technologies. The same day Zhoshybayev met with Kazakh students studying in Malaysia and encouraged them to take an active part in the promotion of the International Exhibition abroad. After the meeting, the Kazakh students held a flash mob in support of EXPO 2017, www.mfa.gov.kz says.

After then, a delegation of Kazakhstan headed by  Zhoshybayev paid a visit to the Republic of Singapore.During the visit, Zhoshybayev met with Senior State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamad Maliki Osman, President of the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore Devinder Ohri, leadership of the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for participation of Singapore in EXPO 2017 and business circles. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore the parties exchanged views on prospects of further bilateral cooperation and participation of the Singapore side in EXPO 2017. The Commissioner informed the partner about the preparation progress to the Exhibition in Astana. Osman, in his turn, expressed interest in participation in the International Exhibition and stressed significance of this event for the whole international community. At the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore that is in charge of participation of the country in international exhibitions, a presentation of EXPO 2017 was organized. During the meeting, it was mentioned that since 2007 Singapore was actively developing «green» energy, the state allocated 3,4 bln U.S. dollars from the budget to its development. The sector provides 18,000 jobs. The sides agreed that EXPO 2017 would serve as an excellent platform for showcasing best practices and technologies of Singapore in the sphere of «green» energy. A meeting at the National Association of Tour Agents (NATA) of Singapore was focused on opportunities for sharing experience in the sphere of tourism, attracting tour operators of Singapore for cooperation and opening direct flights between two states. Following the results of the meeting, a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of tourism between the Astana «EXPO-2017» National Company and NATA was signed. The document is supposed to provide promotion of EXPO 2017 as well as Kazakhstan itself as a promising tourist destination in Singapore, according to the MFA press service.

Chairman of the Board of JSC "NC" Astana EXPO 2017" Akhmetzhan Yessimov has held a meeting with the Governor of the Chelyabinsk region of the Russian Federation Boris Dubrovsky, the press service of the national company reported.The sides discussed the current preparations for the exhibition. "Chelyabinsk will host the summit of the SCO in 2020, and it is important to understand how to carry out large-scale international events," said Boris Dubrovsky.Mr. Yessimov stressed that the international community express high interest in the event. According to his words, 79 countries have confirmed their participation in "EXPO-2017" which will take place in the capital of Kazakhstan. The parties have also considered the issues of Russia's participation in the forthcoming international specialized exhibition "Astana EXPO-2017". The Russian Federation signed an agreement on the participation in the event. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia Georgy Kalamanov is appointed the Commissioner-General of the Russian section.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Germany Bolat Nussupov met with Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Member of the Bundestag Hans-Joachim Fuchtel on April 11, 2016, Kazinform has learnt from the Kazakh MFA's press service.The negotiations were dedicated to the intensification of bilateral cooperation on a number of important projects in sustainable development, including practical implementation of the Nazarbayev-Merkel initiative aimed at introduction of the German model of dual vocational education in Kazakhstan, support for bilateral economic projects within public-private partnership (PPP), interaction on development of alternative energy sources within EXPO 2017 in Astana, as well as implementation of social and environmental programs of the EU and UN to address the Aral Sea problems and restoration of the former Semipalatinsk Test Site region.During the meeting, the Kazakh diplomat informed the counterpart of major aspects of the Address of President Nursultan Nazarbayev "Kazakhstan in a new economic reality: development, growth, reforms", the Plan of the Nation "100 concrete steps", as well as identified key objectives which can be achieved with the German side.The Parliamentary State Secretary commended the socio-economic reforms in Kazakhstan and made a number of practical proposals to increase cooperation in implementation of the above-mentioned joint projects.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has held a meeting with heads of holdings and companies of Turkey during his working visit to Istanbul, the Akorda's press service reports.Attending the meeting were heads of nearly 25 Turkish companies, including Ulker Group, Turkuaz Group, Yildirim Group, Yildiz Holding, Akfel Holding, Aselsan Electronic, and Acibadem.At the meeting the sides exchanged views on the possibilities of implementation of joint projects in various fields of cooperation. The Turkish businessmen thanked the Kazakh leader for creating favorable conditions for international investors in Kazakhstan.The Kazakh President drew attention of those present that there are over 1,600 companies with Turkish capital in Kazakhstan."Despite certain difficulties, the two-way trade exceeds $2 billion. Based on the agreements reached with President Erdoğan, we need to increase this indicator up to $10 billion. Over the past decade the volume of investment of Turkish businessmen into our economy has exceeded $2 billion. Presently Kazakhstan and Turkey implement 91 joint projects worth $3 billion," President Nazarbayev said at the meeting.Nursultan Nazarbayev also talked about enormous opportunities which Kazakhstan offers as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and a neighbor of China, five institutional reforms implemented in the country, and the Nurly Zhol state program.In conclusion, the Kazakh President invited Turkish companies to partake in the upcoming International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017.

Kazakhstan's initiatives were fully supported and featured into the draft of the final communique of the 13th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, the Akorda's press service reports.Participants of the Istanbul Summit welcomed the Joint Declaration of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the process of Islamic Reconciliation adopted on April 13, 2016. In this light, it was decided to launch the process of Islamic Reconciliation as a new paradigm of relations in the Islamic world by demonstrating goodwill and constructive approach to the issues of interstate relations and peaceful settlement of disputes.The OIC Secretary General will hold consultations with its member states and will present a comprehensive plan of actions on the process of Islamic Reconciliation at the next session of the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers, if necessary.The Istanbul Summit also lauded the creation of the Islamic Organization for Food Security in Astana (IOFS) as a new specialized body of the organization and expressed hope it will play an active role in the strengthening of cooperation between the OIC member countries in that important sphere. Given the strategic importance of this initiative, the final communique calls on the OIC member states to ratify the IOFS Charter as soon as possible in order to ensure unimpaired functioning of the organization and partake in the inauguration session of the IOFS General Assembly set to be held in Astana on April 28, 2016. Participants also backed the framework proposal of the Kazakh President on implementation of the initiative called the Islamic infrastructural integration aimed at the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, regional integration and establishing of cooperation between the OIC member states. The Summit welcome the proposal of President Nazarbayev to hold the 2017 OIC Summit on science and technologies on the margins of EXPO 2017 in Astana and called on all OIC member states to partake in the upcoming International specialized exhibition themed Future Energy enabling participants to solidify scientific and technical, political and cultural cooperation in order to achieve sustainable development goals.Participants of the Istanbul Summit urged the OIC member countries to support Kazakhstan's bid as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.The Summit also praised and welcomed contribution of the OIC member countries, including Kazakhstan, into the settlement of the Syrian crisis and restoration of peace in that country.Participants of the Summit welcomed the holding of Religions for Peace Forum under the aegis of the UN in New York City on May 6, 2016.The Summit highly appreciated the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Kazakhstan as it is aimed to promote the formation of culture of tolerance and mutual respect opposed to the ideology of hatred and extremism.

Astana may host Bloomberg's The Future of Energy Summit within EXPO 2017. Bloomberg New Energy Finances (BNEF), providing unique analysis, tools and data for decision makers driving change in the energy system, is planning to hold The Future of Energy Summit within the framework of the upcoming EXPO 2017 in Astana. John Moore, Head of BNEF, and Kairat Kulbayev of NC Astana EXPO-2017 JSC focused on the possibility to hold The Future of the Energy Summit on the sidelines of the EXPO event in the Kazakh capital during a recent meeting.The Future of Energy Summit is an annual event that brings together key players of energy market, politicians and economic experts.The Summit is traditionally held in New York City with two regional summits in London and Shanghai.Opening of the third regional platform - the Eurasian one - with the center in Astana will be discussed in the nearest future.

Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) will assist Kazakhstan in its endeavour to establish a green technology centre in Astana, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the central Asian nation and GreenTech Malaysia.The MoU was signed by Kazakhstan's Expo 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev and Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Secretary-General Datuk Loo Took Gee during his visit to Malaysia earlier this month. Zhoshybayev, who was in Kuala Lumpur on a working visit, told Bernama that the cooperation with GreenTech Malaysia was particularly relevant in light of the creation of the proposed International Centre for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects, under the auspices of the United Nations, in Kazakhstan's capital Astana. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev had announced the proposal to set up the centre during his speech at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly last September in New York. Under its Strategy 2050 initiative, Kazakhstan hopes to shift from being one of the world's premier hydrocarbon energy producers to a model "green" economy. The transition will also see the country focusing on water resource conservation, agriculture and waste management, and measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions. GreenTech Malaysia was established as an agency under the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water in 2010 to catalyse the deployment of green technology as a strategic engine for Malaysia's socio-economic growth. IMPRESSED WITH PPP MECHANISM While in Kuala Lumpur, Zhoshybayev also met Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, and participated in a round-table discussion with representatives from the main players in Malaysia's technology fields, namely Sustainable Energy Development Agency, GreenTech Malaysia, Petroliam Nasional Bhd, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation and Malaysia Investment Development Agency. Describing the talks as "fruitful", he said his government was impressed with Malaysia for having successfully implemented the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mechanism, as well as assessment of project efficiency and their subsequent commercialisation in the field of green technologies. "We're keen to learn from the nation's best practices and experiences, especially in the PPP mechanism, either in the scientific field or business circle...we want to see how we can implement a similar mechanism," he added. LATEST TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS Meanwhile, Zhoshybayev said Malaysia stood to reap tremendous benefits from the exhibition, themed "Future Energy", as it would serve as an excellent platform to showcase the country's capabilities and achievements in innovations of sustainable global energy technologies to the world. He urged Malaysian key players and experts serving the green energy industries to tap the huge potential by promoting their sophisticated technologies and solutions at Expo 2017. Kazakhstan will host Expo 2017, an international exhibition overseen and regulated by the International Exhibitions Bureau, from June 10 to Sept 10, 2017 in Astana. Zhoshybayev said during his meeting with Loo, he was informed that Malaysia was ready to present its latest technological solutions in the field of clean fuel production from biomass, as well as solar power solutions, at the expo. "She also talked about (exploring) possibilities of jointly manufacturing solar panels, besides expressing a strong interest in (carrying out) joint research in the renewable energy field," he said. He said Loo had also informed him that Malaysia has successfully applied the latest technologies in the field of energy-efficient construction, waste utilisation and green mobility blueprint promotion. INCREASE FLIGHT FREQUENCY GreenTech Malaysia is among the Malaysian companies participating in Expo 2017. Zhoshybayev said Malaysia has not confirmed how many companies would be participating in the exhibition but "no matter how many participate, we believe it will deliver terrific benefits and impact not only to the two countries but also to the whole planet. "At the same time, the participation of Malaysian companies in the expo will also further boost bilateral trade, economic, investment and cultural ties between the two countries, as well as build up our scientific base," he said. To date, 79 countries and 14 international organisations have confirmed their participation in Expo 2017. Kazakhstan expects participation to exceed 100 countries and 15 international organisations by next year. The exhibition, Kazakhstan's first major international-level event, is expected to draw some five million visitors. During his recent visit, Zhoshybayev also signed an MoU with the Malaysian Association of Tours & Travel Agents to draw more Malaysian tourists to Kazakhstan. He said Kazakhstan was now preparing special tour packages to attract more tourists to the country, especially during Expo 2017. "We are now in the midst of finalising an agreement for collaboration (between our countries)...Malaysia can advise and share their vast experience on how we can to attract tourists from Malaysia to Kazakhstan, and vice versa," he said, adding that Kazakhstan's national carrier Air Astana may introduce direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Astana next year to boost tourism in the capital city. Currently, Air Astana flies thrice a week between Kuala Lumpur and Almaty, from where travellers have to take a connecting flight to Astana, as Bernama reports.

Bolivia is intended to show the scientific and industrial potential at EXPO-2017, official media quoted the words of the Commissioner of the national pavilion of the country at the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 Walter Clarems Endara Vera."We plan to introduce Bolivia to the world at EXPO-2017. Not many people know about our country's traditions, its potential. EXPO 2017 is a platform where countries will show their achievements in the field of energy efficiency and green technologies," he said.According to the Commissioner, Bolivia is interested to show its scientific and industrial potential.He noted that Astana could be a place which will gather all the best cutting-edge technology in the field of new energy and energy-efficiency programs.

The agreement on cooperation was signed between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and "Astana EXPO-2017" Company on the initiative of "Astana EXPO-2017" Company. The sides made commitments to cooperate in the sphere of ensuring transparency of the activity of "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC including designing and construction of the exhibition facilities and in the sphere of forming anti-corruption culture. The document was signed by Chairman of the Board of "Astana EXPO-2017" Akhmetzhan Yessimov and Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau Kairat Kozhamzharov, the press service of the "Astana EXPO-2017" informs. "The exchange of the information is very important for us. It is important to know what companies are involved in the construction of the exhibition facilities. On the instruction of the President we have this issue under constant control," K. Kozhamzharov said. He also thanked A. Yessimov for the initiative to sign the cooperation agreement. A. Yessimov stressed that the EXPO was the biggest international project in the history of Kazakhstan that was initiated by the President of Kazakhstan. Head of "Astana EXPO-2017" JSC Akhmetzhan Yessimov also noted that the document would not be a formality. The agreement will help to increase the effectiveness of cooperation by means of coordinating the activities between the two structures.

Japan wants to contribute to addressing global problems in the energy sphere and strengthening of mutually beneficial relations with Kazakhstan more than ever, commissioner of the Japanese pavilion at the EXPO-2017 T. Nakamura said."Japan has limited resources and we are trying to do our best to meet the ever increasing demand for the energy in the country using all possible means. Based on our experience and history we would like to demonstrate our energy saving technologies and our approach to the best energy balance for sustainable energy future," T. Nakamura said. According to him, the EXPO-2017 will be a very significant event for the future of the energy sector in Kazakhstan. Therefore, it is very important to continue to develop this sector after the exhibition as well.

In the framework of his working trip to South-East Asia, the Commissioner of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev has met with the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia Sudirman Said, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Commissioner of the national section responsible for the country's participation in EXPO-2017 Rida Mulia, Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs Esti Andayani and the business community of Indonesia.According to the press service of Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry, during the meeting Mr. Zhoshybayev spoke about the preparations for the forthcoming exhibition themed "Future Energy". In turn, S. Said noted that Indonesia has the great potential of solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal energy and by 2025 the government aims to increase the share of renewable energy in total energy production to 25%.The sides have discussed state and prospects of cooperation between the two countries across the spectrum of interaction. According to the Indonesian diplomat, the exhibition of the international level is a good opportunity for the development of Kazakhstan's economy.On the initiative of the Commissioner Rida Mulia a round table on EXPO-2017 was held. The sitting involved business circles of Indonesia. The event considered the prospects of bilateral cooperation in the field of renewable and alternative energy. In conclusion, R. Mulia and R. Zhoshybayev have signed an agreement on the country's participation in the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017. The Republic of Indonesia became 46th country to sign the contract on participation in the event. At present, 81 countries and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation in EXPO-2017.

Dariga Nazarbayeva, Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Eurasian Media Forum, has officially opened the 13th Eurasian Media Forum in Astana today."I wholeheartedly welcome you all in the beautiful capital of Kazakhstan - Astana. The last 12th forum was held two years ago. Look how the Kazakh capital has changed and grown over those years," Ms Nazarbayev greeted participants of the forum. "This is the 13th time that we gather at the forum, we have an impressive history and extensive experience of fruitful dialogue. We are all very different and hold different views, still, we convene on the hospitable Kazakh land each year and we've learnt to listen to each other."The Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan also expressed special appreciation to former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai for his participation and support.Dariga Nazarbayeva also reminded that Astana readies to host the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 and noted that guests will be able to familiarize with its construction site.Four main sessions and five master classes of prominent journalists, politicians and economic experts are set to be held on Day 1. Participants are expected to discuss what would this world be like without oil, when the global financial crisis ends and touch upon the conflicts in the Middle East. Ex-President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, former UK's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw, chairman of the Astana International Financial Center Kairat Kelimbetov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov, Secretary of the National Security Council Nurlan Yermekbayev, Minister of Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission Timur Suleimenov and may others will take the floor at the forum. The Eurasian Media Forum was initiated by Dariga Nazarbayeva in 2002.

Kazakhstan can be first to fully fulfill the potential of the EXPO, British economist Simon Anholt told at the 13th Eurasian Media Forum."The EXPO has a great potential in terms of the global discussion. Presently, global events are sports events such as world championships, Olympic Games. There is no other format in the world that can provide an opportunity for the entire globe to discuss the issues not related to sport as the EXPO. I do not think that the EXPO has reached this level, but I think that Kazakhstan can be the first country that can really fulfill the potential of the EXPO," he said. In this regard, he advised Kazakhstan to be more ambitious and to not consider the EXPO as an event that can increase the popularity of the country. Kazakhstan needs to try to involve the world into the conversation on the theme that has importance for everybody and Kazakhstan can play an important role in that conversation. "If the strategy of Kazakhstan is to help the world in the sphere of sustainable energy, it's absolutely wise. And the EXPO is a good chance to begin the conversation. We need to think globally," S. Anholt said. In turn, Deputy Chairman of "Astana EXPO-2017" Yerbol Shormanov told that the city was actively preparing for holding the EXPO. As of today, 81 world countries and 14 internaitonal organziations confirmed their participation in the exhibition.

The next Eurasian Media Forum will be held in one of the facilities of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.According to chairwoman of the forum's organizing committee, deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva, XIV Eurasian Media Forum will be held 22-23 June 2016 at one of the objects of EXPO-2017 in Astana.This year's forum involved around 30 speakers and over 400 delegates from 50 countries to discuss the future of the world economy, geopolitical consequences of the transformations in the Arab world, prospects of the European Union, information wars of the 21st century, image of oil-producing countries and the influence of television over society. The forum is covered by more than 400 media representatives.The Eurasian Media Forum was founded on the initiative of Dariga Nazarbayeva in 2002 as a non-political and non-profit organization.

Commissioner of the EXPO-2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev met with the delegation from Lithuania headed by Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas today.The sides discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation and the participation of Lithuania in the EXPO-2017. R. Zhoshybayev told about the preparation work and about organizational and technical aspects, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs. E. Gustas noted that the Lithuanian delegation was impressed with the held work and the construction progress. He also added that Lithuania was actively preparing for the exhibition where it plans to present its innovations in the green energy sphere. In this regard, the Minister asked to increase the area of the national pavilion for demonstration of the potential of Lithuania. According to him, the EXPO-2017 will give a new impetus for development of the relations between the two countries. It should be noted that Lithuania actively develops renewable and alternative energy sources. As of today, these energy sources account for 24% of the energy balance of the country. Besides, the parties stressed the importance of the sitting of the Kazakh-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, where relevant issues of bilateral cooperation are planned to be discussed.

The 11th sitting of Kazakh-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation took place in Astana today.The sitting was chaired by Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan Natalya Korzhova and Minister of Economy of Lithuania Evaldas Gustas. The sides discussed the relevant issues and promising directions of the bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Lithuanian in such spheres as transport, communication, information technologies, energy, environment protection, education and science, tourism, agriculture, land relations, geodesy, cartography and civil service. The parties agreed to more actively work on increasing the volume of cargo transportation on the route Kazakhstan-Lithuania- Kazakhstan. Agreements in the transport and transit spheres have been reached at the sitting as well as the agreements on development of joint projects in the logistics sphere including tariffs for transportation of cargo in both directions, the press service of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan informs. During the meeting the sides noted positive tendencies in cooperation within education program of Kazakhstan "Bolashak", academic mobility within the European program "Erasmus+" , and the sides reached an agreement regarding considering of an opportunity of implementation of joint education program for civil servants and holding of research works in the civil service sphere. The Lithuanian side expressed the interest in development of cooperation in the spheres of education, science, information technologies and economy. Kazakhstan also invited Lithuania to take part in the Winter Universiade-2017 in Almaty and in the EXPO-2017 in Astana.

Kazakhstan will introduce visa-free regime for citizens of 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev at today's Kazakh-Spanish business forum.According to his words, 19 countries including Spain have a visa-free regime with Kazakhstan. However, he stressed that Kazakhstan plans to expand the list to 34 OECD countries.The Minister said that such measures are to be taken in order to attract foreign investment. He emphasized that new mechanisms have been worked out to attract investors, reduce risk, and improve the investment climate of our country in accordance with OECD standards.Mr. Issekeshev noted that investors help Kazakhstan to change the legislation, particularly in terms of tax and environmental regulation. "In 2017 Astana will host EXPO-2017 and launch the international financial center of EXPO-town. We offer special laws for investors on the basis of English law," he informed.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered to ensure preparation of all visual information about the EXPO-2017 in state, Russia and English languages."The mayor of Astana and heads of the regions have to ensure that all the visual information about the EXPO-2017 is in state, Russian and English languages," N. Nazarbayev said at the 24th session of the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan in Astana today. "There are no little things in the issue regarding observing the equality of people and stability of the interethnic relations. We need the everyday hard work in all the spheres," he added.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the State of Kuwait Almas Abdramanov met with Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait, on April 25, Kazinform has learnt from the Kazakh MFA's press service.At the meeting the sides exchanged views on the organization of top-level visits and discussed the preparations for the International specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana, the 4th session of the Kazakhstan-Kuwait Intergovernmental Commission in Kuwait, ratification of the Charter of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, the Astana International Financial Center and development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Kuwait.Crown Prince of Kuwait highly praised President Nazarbayev's policy and lauded gradual political and economic development of Kazakhstan throughout the years of independence.

Saudi Arabia officially confirmed its participation in EXPO-2017 international specialized exhibition scheduled from June 10 through September 10 in Astana.As the press service of the Kazakh MFA informs, the government of Saudi Arabia, which is a member of G2, sent an official note of participation in the exhibition to the Secretariat of the EXPO-2017 Commissioner and assigned King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy as responsible for preparation of the country pavilion.The Kingdom made a decision to completely stop using fossil fuel by 2040. Solar energy and wind will have to replace coal and oil. In order to do it, USD 109 bln will be invested in the projects on development of solar energy infrastructure.Thus, according to the EXPO-2017 Commissioner Secretariat, Saudi Arabia became the 83rd country which officially confirmed its participation in the event. 14 international organizations confirmed their attendance. 65 commissioners were appointed and 49 agreements on participation in EXPO-2017 were signed.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has inspected a construction site of EXPO-town."Holding of EXPO-2017 is an important milestone in the development of the city. I have carefully examined the exhibition's objects. The schedule is executed. Every day 10 thousand people work on the construction site," said Nursultan Nazarbayev at a meeting on socio-economic development of Astana and preparation for EXPO-2017.The President noted that the exhibition should demonstrate, without exception, all the achievements of independent Kazakhstan and the capital. Note that the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 will kick off in Astana July 10 and end September 10. It is expected that representatives of 100 countries will take part in the event. A significant number of tourists will come from the CIS, China, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Turkey. Currently, 82 countries and 14 international organizations have confirmed their participation in EXPO-2017.

€147 million of sponsor money will be attracted for EXPO 2017 in accordance with the registration dossier, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the "NC "Astana EXPO 2017" JSC, announced at a session dedicated to the socioeconomic development of Astana city and preparations for the EXPO event on Wednesday. "The company signed contracts and memorandums worth of millions of Euro with Kazakhstani and foreign companies. Work in that direction will be continued," Mr. Yessimov added.According to him, 244 billion tenge of investment has already attracted by the company. "It allowed to create nearly 5,300 workplaces," Mr. Yessimov added. According to Essimov, a concept of the national pavilion has already been elaborated and approved. The pavilion will be placed in main facility of EXPO - the Sphere - which covers the area of 5000 square meters. The pavilion will be divided into two parts: the first part will be devoted to familiarization with Kazakhstan and the second zone is called "Creative Energy", he said. The first part will represent the landscape, culture, history, presence and future of Kazakhstan and is prepared together with the Ministry of Culture and Sport. The "Creative Energy" part will represent the best "green economy" projects of Kazakhstani scientists. The projects will be selected by the Ministry of Energy. "Detailed design document of the concept of the Sphere will be developed by 11 May, after which we will start to implement it," Essimov said addressing the President.

During his tour around the EXPO-town in Astana, Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstanis should actively visit the EXPO-2017 exhibition."Tourists, primarily, from regions should come to Astana and see the EXPO. The schedule of their arrival from each region must be prepared in advance," noted the President. According to Akhmetzhan Essimov, head of Astana EXPO-2017 Company, 3000 events are planned to be organized during the EXPO. As Minister of Culture and Sport Arystanbek Mukhamediuly added, "the whole city will enjoy festive atmosphere of the EXPO." "We have already discussed the cultural programme of the EXPO, opening and closing ceremonies. There is no need to invite foreign singers for these ceremonies. To my mind, we must use our own reserves. We must support our own cultural potential," said in turn N.Nazarbayev.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev commented on the issue of "non-working" investment memorandums."The last year Astana Economic Forum brought together three thousand investors including 500 foreign ones. 37 memorandums worth 1.5 bln tenge were signed during the AE, but in fact 4% of them only have been attracted. What is the necessity for signing such documents, if they are not implemented?" the President asked Minister of Investments and Development Asset Issekeshev at yesterday's conference regarding development of Astana and preparation for EXPO-2017. As the Minister explained, 300 projects are presently under consideration now. "120 projects will be implemented in 2016, while other projects will be implemented in the next three years," he said. In turn, the Head of State charged the Ministry to thoroughly study the projects prior to their implementation and "not to manufacture useless products"

Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov to the UN and Charge d'Affaires a.i. of Liberia to the UN George Patten signed a joint communique on establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in New York.During the signing the sides exchanged opinions about the prospects of cooperation at the bilateral level in terms of important issues of the agenda of the UN representing the mutual interest for Kazakhstan and Liberia. Fulfillment of the goals of sustainable development, protection of the environment, healthcare, peacekeeping and post-crisis development are among the priorities. The parties also noted the importance of expansion of mutually beneficial contacts between the states, especially in the education sphere. Kazakhstan also thanked Liberia for the decision to take part in the EXPO-2017. K. Abdrakhmanov also informed George Patten about the priorities of the election campaign of Kazakhstan's bid for the non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. As the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs, the sides also expressed mutual intentions to establish an intergovernmental commission for strengthening and development of the cooperaiotn between Kazakhstan and Liberia. G. Patten thanked Kazakhstan for the help in combatting the spread of Ebola virus and for the contribution to strengthening of the partnership between Kazakhstan and Africa jointly with the UNDP for the food of sustainable development.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Czech Republic with concurrent accreditation to Slovakia Serzhan Abdykarimov met with State Secretary at Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Lukas Parizek, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Rastislav Chovanec and Chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee Robert Madej in Bratislava this week.At the meetings Ambassador Abdykarimov and the Slovak officials discussed further strengthening of bilateral relations in various spheres. The Kazakhstani diplomat also established contacts with newly appointed officials after recent parliamentary elections in Slovakia.According to the press service of the Kazakh MFA, the sides agreed to step up inter-parliamentary, commercial, economic and investment cooperation. In this context, both sides welcomed the upcoming visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak to Astana this year.Ambassador Abdykarimov briefed the Slovak partners on the ongoing modernization of Kazakhstan's economy based on the new economic policy "Nurly Zhol" and the National Plan "100 specific steps" and handed a copy of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's Manifesto: The World. The 21st Century article aimed at ensuring security in the world, reducing military conflicts and deadly nuclear disasters. The Kazakhstani diplomat called on Bratislava to support Kazakhstan's bid to become non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 and participate in the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.

EXPO-2017 is important for Kyrgyzstan energy, said president of the Chamber of Commerce of Kyrgyzstan Marat Sharshekeyev at IV Business Forum of the Council of Turkic-speaking states and IV meeting of the Turkic Business Council."Kyrgyzstan's potential in this area is strong as the country has a number of hydro power plants," said M.Sharshekeyev.It should be noted that the agreement on Kyrgyzstan's participation in the exhibition was achieved during the working visit of the Commissioner of EXPO-2017, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshibayev, to the Kyrgyz Republic in December 20, 2014.Recall that the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 under the motto "Future Energy" will be held in the capital of Kazakhstan from June 10 to September 10. It is expected that the exhibition will be visited by over 5 million people from all over the world. 82 countries, 14 international organizations and a number of leading multinational companies have confirmed their interest and willingness to participate in the exhibition.

The delegation from Kazakhstan took part in the sitting of Executive Committee of the International Exhibition Bureau in Paris.Members of the Executive Committee heard the reports on the preparation for exhibitions "Antalya-2016", "Astana-2017", "Beijing-2019" and "Dubai-2020" at the sitting, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs. Head of the Secretariat of the EXPO-2017 Ayat Yerenov told about the work conducted since the last sitting of the Executive Committee on attraction of international participants, development of the legal framework and on measures on fulfillment of the obligations of Kazakhstan before the International Exhibition Bureau. Besides, director of the department of the Astana EXPO-2017 Nurbek Yergeshbayev presented a report on the current state of the construction works and the content of the event, communication plans of the exhibition and plans on the activity of the company for the nearest future. Upon completion of the sitting the heads and members of the International Exhibitions Bureau positively assessed the progress in preparation for the EXPO-2017. As is known, the EXPO-2017 is planned to attract over 100 participating countries and 15 international organizations. As of today, 83 world countries and 14 international organizations have confirmed their participation in the exhibition.

First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev has held a meeting with President of the US-Kazakhstan Business Association (USKBA) Mr. William Courtney, Kazinform has learnt from primeminister.kz.During the meeting the sides exchanged views on further strengthening of bilateral cooperation in production and investment spheres. Bakytzhan Sagintayev stressed that the country has a favorable investment climate and invited businessmen from the United States to actively explore the market in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The First Deputy Prime Minister expressed interest in attracting US companies to carry out projects of the second phase of industrialization. Bakytzhan Sagintayev also invited businessmen from the United States to take part in the international exhibition EXPO-2017, which will give an additional impetus to the development of "green technologies" and will provide an opportunity to introduce the best practices and to promote the advancement of energy-efficient programs.

Commissioner of the EXPO-2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev paid an official visit to Vatican. He held a meeting with President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson, who was appointed Commissioner of the section of Vatican at the EXPO-2017 in Astana.As it was informed, the sides exchanged opinions regarding the relevant issues of the bilateral cooperation. Cardinal Turkson highly praised personal contribution of Nursultan Nazarbayev to development of the global interreligious accord by means of establishment of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Besides, he noted a unique model, role and meaning of the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan in ensuring peace and accord in Kazakhstan. In turn, the EXPO-2017 Commissioner thanked Vatican for the support and active participation in the work of the Congress and told about the work held on organization of the exhibition in Astana. The parties discussed the conditions of the participation of Vatican in the event and made decisions regarding the local and area of the pavilion of Vatican.

A Kazakh delegation took part in a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on April 28, 2016, Kazinform refers to the MFA press service.Members of the Executive Committee listened to the reports on preparation process to Antalya 2016, Astana 2017, Beijing 2019 and Dubai 2020 exhibitions. Director of the EXPO 2017 Commissioner's Secretariat Ayan Yerenov informed about the work done since the last meeting of the Executive Committee (October 16, 2015), on attraction of international participants, legal framework development as well as the measures taken to meet the obligations of Kazakhstan under the BIE. Department Director of the Astana EXPO 2017 National Company Nurbek Yergeshbayev presented the current situation concerning construction works, content, exhibition's communication plans and the company's plan of actions for the upcoming period. Following the meeting, the BIE leadership and members positively assessed the preparation process to EXPO 2017. As is known, more than 100 states and 15 international organizations are planned to be attracted to the EXPO 2017. 83 countries and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation for now.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched a new flight linking the Dutch capital Amsterdam with the two most-populated cities in Kazakhstan - Astana and Almaty this week. The first passengers landed in Astana on May 3.Flights will be operated four times a week (on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) with KLM Airbus A330-200."Our overarching priority in the run-up to the EXPO 2017 event is to bridge Astana with all large cities in the world. This flight is the very first step in that direction. Next year there will be more flights. After the new terminal is complete, the Astana International Airport's capacity will double," Talgat Lastayev, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Committee under the Ministry for Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, told Kazinform correspondent. It is worth mentioning that the Netherlands remain one of the most popular destinations for Kazakhstani tourists.Presently, the Astana International Airport handles over 140 flights and over 10,000 passengers daily.Founded in 1919 in the Netherlands, KLM is the oldest airline in the world still operating.

Majilis Speaker Bakytkozha Izmukhambetov held a meeting with Senate Speaker of Poland Satanislaw Karchewski in the Majilis today.The interlocutors discussed the relevant issues of development of the Kazakh-Polish cooperation stressing the fact that the countries were important political, economic and trade partners, the press service of the Majilis informed. It was noted that the volume of the external trade turnover between the two countries made over USD 1 billion in 2015, and 70% of all the external trade turnover of Poland with Central Asian countries falls at Kazakhstan. The sides also expressed their confidence that the potential of the two countries was much higher. "Kazakhstan and Poland are transit states, therefore we have to better use the opportunities for increasing the volume of transportation of goods delivered to Western Europe and Asia," B. Izmukhambetov said. As S. Karchewski noted, the important impetus for development of bilateral relations will be Poland's participation in the EXPO-2017 and cooperation between the regions. B. Izmumbetov and S. Karchewski also expressed their hope for soon ratification of the agreement on expanded partnership between Kazakhstan and the European Union.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Mexico Andrian Yelemessov presented his credentials to President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto.During the meeting with the President of Mexico the Kazakh diplomat discussed the prospects of further development of bilateral relations noting the importance of expansion of the legal framework, development of the tourist potential, strengthening of the Kazakh-Mexican trade and economic cooperation and inclusion of Kazakhstan into the system of electronic visas of Mexico. As the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informs, A. Yelemessov thanked the Mexican side for the support of the Kazakhstan's bid for the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 and touched upon the issue of participation of Mexico in the EXPO-2017 in Astana and activation of contacts at the high level between the two countries. E. Pena Nieto expressed his interest and readiness of the Mexican side to develop relations between Mexico and Kazakhstan.

Chairman of the Board of "Astana EXPO-2017" Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov plans to continue to cut expenses for the exhibition, he told today."We are working to fulfill the tasks in terms of construction of the EXPO facilities and reduction of the expenses for the event. As was earlier reported, we reduced our expenses for the exhibition by 131 billion tenge already. Presently, we continue this work. This amount will grow taken into account the inflation. Excluding inflation this figure is expected to grow twofold," A. Yessimov said. According to him, 10 thousand people are now working on construction of the exhibition facilities. Besides, about 30 thousand people are engaged at the companies around Kazakhstan, they manufacture products that are now in demand for EXPO construction purposes. "Those people are involved in this process know that there are problems every day. However, we are working in rhythm now and plan to continue," he added.

Euro 100 million of sponsored money has been attracted for organization and holding of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana, Chairman of "Astana EXPO-2017" Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov told at the sitting of the company today."We are glad to see the activity of the potential partners of the exhibition. According to the main documents, it is planned to attract 147 million Euro of sponsored money. As of today, Kazakhstani and foreign companies have already invested 100 million Euro. There is no doubt now that we will top 147 million," he noted. Besides, he informed that KZT 244 billion investments had been attracted as well. This money was used for construction of the exhibition facilities. "To be exact this money was used for construction of housing for the exhibition participants that would be sold to the residents of Astana later. Investment projects also helped to create 5 thousand jobs plus to the aforementioned ones," A. Yessimov added.

900 mln people around the world will be aware of the EXPO-2017 in Astana prior to its beginning, Akhmetzhan Yessimov told at the sitting of the Public Council of the Astana EXPO-2017 Company."We are actively working on promotion of the exhibition at the international level. We use platforms of the biggest events held in the world and the leading mass media. As of today, the total number of people embraced by the mass media and the mentioned platforms is 221 million people. We also plan to increase this number to 500 million by the end of the year, and up to 900 million prior to the beginning of the event," he told. A. Yessimov also noted there was a great interest in the exhibition in Astana from the international society. According to him, 84 world countries and 14 international organizations have already confirmed their participation in the EXPO.

The organization of the EXPO-2017 enabled Kazakhstan to provide more people with jobs than during the 2nd five-year stage of the 2015-2019 Industrial-Innovative Development Program. Head of Astana Expo 2017 Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov has said it today at a meeting of the Company's Public Council."To my mind, we have achieved a real anti-crisis effect. According to ‘Ranking' research agency, 4,500 job places will be created in total during implementation of Kazakhstan's industrial-innovative development program in 2015-2019, while the organization of EXPO in 2015-2016 enabled us to employ a good deal more people," said Yessimov. The EXPO 2017 Chief touched upon also local content share problem. According to him, since August 2017, the company has been actively attracting domestic manufacturers of construction materials. Memorandums of cooperation were signed with the akimats of all regions, Astana and Almaty cities. Principal contractors were advised to cooperate primarily with local producers, he stressed. Besides, according to Yessimov, selling of tickets for the EXPO-2017 exhibition starts in less than a month. "The tickets will be sold online. The booking offices will start selling tickets in August," he noted. According to him, they managed to reach agreement with the International Exhibitions Bureau regarding setting the minimum price for tickets in order to create conditions for as many people of Kazakhstan to visit the exhibition as possible and attract foreign tourists. "I can assure you that the admission fee for visiting the exhibition will be about the price of a movie ticket," he added.

Astana inaugurates its MEGA Silk Way Shopping Mall in December 2016.According to Nurlan Smagulov, head of Astana Group building company, the project will be launched in December 2016. "This project is among the most important ones in Astana, as it will be something like a gate to the EXPO 2017. The idea of building such a shopping mall belongs to the President, who named it Zhibek Zholy (Silk Way). We are sure that the project will worthily decorate our city," N.Smagulov noted. The "green" project provides for use of solar energy, application of energy-saving technologies and rational use of water resources. The area of the project is 140 000 square meters. The length of the building is 500 m and its width is 160 m. It should be noted that the shopping mall is a part of the EXPO 2017 architectural ensemble. As is known, the international exhibition will be held in Astana from June 10 through September 10, 2017.

Mayor of Astana Adilbek Dzhaksybekov held a meeting with Marco Borradori - Mayor of the Swiss city of Lugano who had arrived in the capital of Kazakhstan on a working visit.The sides have noted the dynamic development of the business and cultural ties between the two cities which open up new opportunities for cooperation at the regional level. According to the website of Astana city's administration office, Mr. Dzhaksybekov said that Astana has positive attitude to working with Swiss companies many of which already operate in the market of Astana and Kazakhstan on the whole. In turn, Mr. Borradori expressed admiration for Astana. M.Borradori said that he sees similarities in Astana and Lugano thanks to the fact that Swiss companies were involved in the construction of the city.It is worth noting that Mabco Constructions S.A., headquartered in Lugano, was one of the first foreign companies included in the construction market of Astana. And today the company has been actively involved in the construction projects of the city.Heads of Astana and Lugano have agreed to develop bilateral relations in the framework of the memorandum on cooperation. Particular attention will be paid to the development of "smart city" projects, exchange of experience in education, business and construction sectors. In addition, the parties have agreed to co-host business meetings and conferences and hold the Days of Lugano in Astana during the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017.

Chairman of the board of "Astana EXPO-2017" Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov met with Emirati Minister of State and Managing Director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Bid Committee Reem Al-Hashimi within the first sitting of international participants of "EXPO-2020 Dubai" exhibition.According to the information, the sides reached an understanding to sign the cooperation agreement. The agreement will encompass cooperation regarding the widest range of issues. In particular, the organizers of the EXPO-2017 are ready to help the Middle East partners in terms of promotion of the theme of the exhibition, preparation for the event and the work with volunteers. "We are aware how high the International Exhibitions Bureau assessed the work of "Astana EXPO-2017", and know that they think that the exhibition in Astana will be one of the most successful over the recent decades. In turn, the format of the EXPO is very important for development of different sectors of the economy of the country. Therefore, it is very important for us to study your experience in organization of such an event," the Emirati Minister said. The agreement will be signed in January of the next year within the framework of the Future Energy Summit.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to hold the next sitting of the Foreign Investors Council within the framework of opening of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana."The key task for Kazakhstan over the nearest future is forming the new model of economic development, which will allow to reach the set earlier goal on joining the top 30 developed countries of the world. We have to take the right measures now, and this is exactly what we are doing, and will be doing in future. As long as we discussed the theme of the international financial center "Astana", which is planned to be EXPO-2017-based, and the theme of the exhibition is "Future Energy" I propose to have the theme of the next sitting called "New Energy" and hold it right on the territory of the exhibition within the framework of opening of the EXPO," the Head of State said.

The Government of Finland has taken a formal decision on participation in "EXPO-2017" International specialized exhibition in Astana, the press service of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Finland reported.According to Minister of Economy Olli Rehn and Minister of Foreign Trade Ms. Lenita Toivakka, this decision confirms the commitment of Finland to give a new impetus to full cooperation with Kazakhstan where energy, energy efficiency and new technologies are of priority areas."Finland is the world leader in the field of energy and clean technologies development. The experience and achievements of the country will be represented in the Finnish pavilion at EXPO-2017. Many Finnish energy companies are already working in Kazakhstan. We hope that our participation will enhance interest in the business community of Central Asia," said O.Rehn."Participation of Finland in the international exhibition is an important step contributing to the promotion of Finnish exports to Kazakhstan. Despite the active development of bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, "clean" technology and education, our state still has a large untapped potential in the above mentioned areas.Kazakhstan and the surrounding regions are of great interest for Finnish companies.The possibility of opening direct flights to Astana will help our companies and officials to maintain regular contacts with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states. In addition, it will create conditions for the development of tourism between the two states," said Lenita Toivakka.The official Helsinki attaches particular importance to the fact that EXPO-2017 in Astana will be held in the year of 100th anniversary of Finland's independence.

The 7th sitting of the Kazakh-Czech task group on cooperation in the sphere of energy within the international commission for economic, industrial and scientific and technical cooperation took place in Prague.Director of the department for development of coal industry of the Ministry of Energy Vladimir Klyakin represented Kazakhstan and director of the department for oil and gas of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Jan Zaplatilek represented the Czech side. The parties discussed the issues of cooperation in the sphere of electric energy, energy efficiency and production of energy from traditional and renewable energy sources. The participants of the sitting considered the prospects of using energy-saving technologies and equipment of well-known Czech companies in modernization of Kazakhstani energy enterprises within the existing industrial programs including attraction of Czech suppliers for construction of new hydroelectric stations in Kazakhstan. The sides also emphasized new investment opportunities for Czech companies in view of preparation and holding of the international specialized exhibition "EXPO-2017" in Astana. As the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan informed, upon completion of the sitting the sides confirmed mutual interest in further strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of energy.

Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev met with Chairman of the Board of "Astana EXPO-2017" Akhmetzhan Yessimov.As the press service of the Akorda informs, A. Yessimov reported the President on the process of preparation for the international exhibition EXPO-2017 and its content. A. Yssimov also reported that the construction work was held in accordance with the schedule. Presently, 87 countries and 15 international organizations confirmed their participation in the exhibition. The President of Kazakhstan drew attention to the fact that it was necessary to study international experience and use it at the event in order to ensure only the best content is presented at the exhibition.

The world community marked the Africa week last week. Senegal is a vivid example of African country and culture. The capital city of this country is famous thanks to the worldwide known Dakar Rally, which is not held in Africa any more but the name remained the same. Since the moment of obtaining independence Senegal has avoided revolutions or military and political coups. According to experts, Senegal is an exemplary democratic country in the region, where election processes are observed well.President of Senegal Macky Sall, who paid his first official visit to Kazakhstan as a representative of the first non-Arab African country this month, told about the prospects of bilateral cooperation, investment climate and the future of the African continent, regional organizations and Olympic hopes and political views in his interview he gave being in Kazakhstan. Mr. President, it this your first visit to Kazakhstan. What are your first impressions? Yes, it's my first visit to Kazakhstan, and I managed to familiarize with some of the achievements of Kazakhstan already. Kazakhstan has become a leader in many spheres and demonstrated the world that it is possible to change the economic structure and change how the country even looks like. It is easy to see the changes the country has had just by visiting your capital city. Astana is a vivid example for many world leaders what can be done if the goal is to create the most favourable conditions for the people of the country. What are the spheres our countries can cooperate in? During my visit I discussed different issues regarding our cooperation with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. First of all, we can cooperate in the energy, oil and gas spheres. It is not a secret that Senegal has made a significant oil and natural gas discovery recently. Now we need to sign contracts in this sphere on the best for our country conditions. We hope for the assistance from Kazakhstan in terms of training and preparation of specialists in this sphere. Obviously, we have our national oil company and specialists, but we need assistance in terms of signing oil contracts in this sector. Another important cooperation field is agriculture, which is what Kazakhstan has a good knowledge of. The agricultural sphere of Senegal is rapidly developing and there are a lot of currently implemented projects. In regard to humanitarian direction of bilateral cooperation, it could be sport. Senegal is a country of a lot of big sports achievements. Our football players also play in football clubs of Kazakhstan. We also signed an agreement aimed at improvement of our cooperation in the sports sphere during my visit. The positions of our countries on the main international problems are similar despite geographical remoteness. A good example of it is the adoption of the global declaration on building the world free from nuclear weapons on the initiative of N. Nazarbayev with the co-authors of the resolution representing 11 African countries including Senegal... I thanked the President of Kazakhstan for his efforts he put for making Kazakhstan a nuclear-weapons free country contributing to the global system of security. We think that all the countries have to follow the example of Kazakhstan, because our planet does not need so many nuclear weapons. We have to work on the issue of alternative energy persuading the countries to follow and renounce nuclear weapons. We pay compliments to Central Asian countries, which are all free of nuclear weapons as well as the African continent, which, in turn, has been a nuclear-free zone since 1996. I have familiarized with the document of the President of Kazakhstan Manifesto "The World. The 21st century", I have also familiarized with the initiatives he voiced at the Nuclear Security Summit. I also know about the contribution of Kazakhstan to interreligious dialogue. It is very important to see the difference between the religious views now and in Islam as well. In this regard, the role of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation is very critical including the sphere of food security initiated by your country. Within this initiative Kazakhstan will also be the location for the headquarters of this organization. Speaking of Africa, I think this visit will be a good start for establishing cooperation between Kazakhstan and African countries. I also invited Nursultan Nazarbayev to Senegal, which is like a gate to Western Africa. Thus, we encourage Kazakhstani businessmen to invest in Senegal and in Africa in general. What are the conditions Senegal can offer for foreign investors coming to the country? I initiated the economic developed plan, it is called "The Emerging Senegal Plan". It is aimed at our country joining the top developed countries of the world by 2035. The plan provides for 20 years. It will have three main directions. One of them is the necessity to increase the national production, and it's what we began to do in the agricultural and cattle breeding spheres, primary sector, development of the necessary infrastructure in order to increase the nationwide welfare. The mentioned plan is like a sail directed by the captain of a boat. Thus, any part of the plan like preparation, education, healthcare, etc. has to be available for every citizen. The third direction is the supremacy of the law. The supremacy of the law is the law for everyone, which is one of the most effective institutions including security, which is highly important in our world now when terrorism is spreading fast. In short, the third aspect of the Emerging Senegal Plan includes the supremacy of the law, justice, democracy, security which is the third pillar of the plan. We have achieved certain results over the last two years. The GDP has increased from 1.7% up to 6.5%. Moreover, Senegal is one of three African countries to register a 6% economic growth. To be precise we are second in this regard on the African continent. Therefore, we continue to exert efforts in the sphere of private investments along with state investments, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, development of human resources, education, healthcare and democracy and the supremacy of the law. We need to persuade our businessmen to invest in Senegal now. We can show all our potential, investment policy, common Tax Code, we can also offer a lot of referential conditions that we created based on the recommendations of the World Bank. In short, Senegal now is a country with no risks fro investors. What will the pavilion of Senegal at Astana EXPO-2017 look like? I welcome the initiative of Kazakhstan to host the EXPO-2017. In 2015, I visited our pavilion at the EXPO Milano where I assured myself that the EXPO-2017 will be held successfully. To my mind, President Nursultan Nazarbayev wanted to give a new impulse and a new vision of his country. Senegal will definitely participate in this exposition. Using this opportunity, I would like to thank the leadership of Kazakhstan for the support it renders to the African countries, because your country almost assumed responsibility for Senegal's attendance in the African pavilion. It is a big gesture of solidarity which we welcome and due to this support and by act of God, we will be able to partake in this remarkable event. Senegal is very active in regional policy. Could you tell please about the ECOWAS community your country presides in? ECOWAS (The Economic Community of West African States) is an economic community of 15 western African states. They form a community with common customs tariffs and policy as well as a common market for more than 300 people living in these countries. Therefore, the presence of enterprises in Senegal will enable these companies to produce goods and services on its territory and sell them to all 300 mln residents. Thus, the ECOWAS is a free turnover of goods in the zone and, of course, an opportunity for investments. Moreover, ECOWAS is an only union in Africa which has an allied peacekeeping contingent, joint Parliament, Court and an investment bank. Senegal has been among the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for three times. Kazakhstan offered its candidacy for this position for years 2017-2018. In case of our election, can we adopt something from Senegalese experience? First of all, let me thank Kazakhstan which earlier backed out candidacy for joining the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Certainly, if Kazakhstan enters such high sphere as the UN, the UN Security Council, Senegal will, undoubtedly, share its diplomatic experience in this issue. Acсording to experts, Africa is a continent of future. What future do you predict for the African continent? Indeed, Africa is not only future, but also the present. There is no future without the present. Today, the population of Africa exceeds 800 mln people and approaches one billion. Namely now is the most favorable moment for business opportunities. Namely now we should be in Africa in order to hold firm positions for future. In my opinion, investing in Africa is a chance for success in future. For this reason, I am calling Kazakhstani businessmen to come to Senegal and Africa and take their positions for future. Recently, a representative of Senegal, Ms. Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura was appointed Secretary General of the FIFA... Senegal is a country of football, although it has never won the Cup of African Nations. We have trained generations of talented world-class footballers at all levels, like El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf, Henri Camara, Khalilou Fadiga. We are a sports-oriented country. We were lucky, of course, that a Senegalese woman was nominated as the FIFA Secretary General. This is a great achievement, because, this it is the first time, when a woman assumes such a high position. The appointment of Fatma Samoura symbolizes a lot. She represents women; she represents Senegal, Africa and the UN. Thus, we expect a lot from this appointment and wish her a successful mission. And what are the chances of the Senegalese athletes at the Rio-2016 Olympics? It is quite difficult to predict something, but, in my opinion, we will earn medals in football, and probably, in track and field events. I hope for successful performance of our sportsmen. You are a top-level politician. In your opinion, what qualities must a modern politician have? Thank you for the compliment! A political leader must work hard and possess proper qualities to serve his nation. However, it is impossible to do everything alone. A politician needs a team of motivated people sharing a common goal. In this case only, the political leader will be able to implement his projects. Worldly wisdom is important for politicians too.


More than 80 countries and 15 international organizations confirmed their participation in the EXPO-2017 to date.

With the theme "Future Energy", Astana EXPO-2017 will enable Kazakhstan to strengthen its international weight and play an important role at the international agenda. This global project is called to make the country hugely contribute to sustainable energy development, to create new job places and reinforce global investment and domestic business environment. EXPO-2017 is expected to improve Kazakhstan's transportation system, infrastructure and housing capacity. After its completion, EXPO-2017 site can satisfy economic, financial and social needs of the country. For instance, Astana International Financial Centre will operate at the major site of the EXPO-2017.

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