ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Kazakh capital city of Astana will host Expo 2017.
The official announcement will take place at the Paris-based BIE (Bureau of International Expositions) in December. Astana was chosen by BIE on Thursday. The only other city in competition was the Liege of Belgium with 44 votes, while Astana got 103 votes.
The event will take place between June 10 and September 10 in 2017, and will focus on “Future Energy” as its running theme. The International Exhibitions Bureau (French: Bureau International des Expositions, BIE) is an intergovernmental organization created to supervise international exhibitions (also known as expos or world’s fairs) falling under the jurisdiction of the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions.
“This is further confirmation and acceptance of the policy initiated by the head of state and the high reputation of our country in the world,” Kairat Kelimbetov, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Expo 2017 Astana organizing committee, said in a statement.
The expo will be the first international event of its kind to be held in Kazakhstan, or in Central Asia.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is passionate about attracting international events to his vast country in an effort to raise awareness about Kazakhstan and combat the stereotypes propagated by the popular comedy “Borat” in recent years.
His greatest triumph in scoring an international event came when he convinced the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to hold its first summit in ten years in the Kazakh capital.
Kazakhstan (Russian: Казахстан) is officially the Republic of Kazakhstan and is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Europe. It is the ninth largest country in the world by land area – 2,727,300 square kilometers (1,053,000 square miles) – and is larger than Western Europe.
The capital was moved in 1998 from Almaty to Astana. Astana is the first capital being built in the 21st century, and it perfectly represents where the world is headed. It is truly one man’s vision – that of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan. The city is being built from scratch in a remote and deserted area of the Asian steppes.
Kazakhstan is a unique region in the world, because of its history, geographical position, and size. Being the world’s 9th largest country and located in the center of Eurasia, it is also the largest landlocked country in the world. These resulted in a specific climate and a peculiar natural system of the country, which seems to absorb the brightest examples of landscape of both continents. In addition, the history of the Kazakh people and constant interaction of nomadic lifestyle with settled people in South Kazakhstani ancient cities, have lead to a unique and authentic culture of Kazakhstan.
The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressing journalists in Paris, congratulated Kazakhstan’s citizens on the Astana victory to host EXPO 2017, a BNews.kz correspondent reported.
“I want to tell you a big pleasure that just now it became known that we won the next very big victory for our country. Vote[s] showed that Astana received [support from] the vast majority of EXPO members, which is 103 out of 161 participated countries and won [over] the city of Liege. Thus, Kazakhstan gained one more recognition as the country, as the city, which can hold such large-scale events. It is a great honor, [a] big pleasure to Kazakhstan because there will arrive representatives of more than 100 states. They will build the pavilions at this exhibition, but, of course, the main load is ours, but they will build, and it everything remains at us,” the Kazakhstan President said.