Towards Astana Expo 2017

Towards Astana Expo 2017

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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A little more than 100 days before the opening of Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan, the construction site at Astana is in an advanced state of completion and features as an example of excellence at international level

When in 2011 Kazakhstan, homeland of hydrocarbons par excellence, chose to stand as a candidate to host Expo International on issues of sustainable development, scepticism was rife. Yet the upcoming Expo could come to rank as one of the most successful events organized internationally. Initial confirmation of this comes from the encounter that brought 326 delegates from more than 100 countries to the Kazakh capital to finalize the organizational and logistical aspects for the imminent show. Unlike what happened in Milan in 2016, the Astana construction site is already well underway and one already has a glimpse of the first pavilions. For the occasion the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente Loscertales, thanked all the organizers and emphasized the high level of preparation: "Now I am sure that our joint efforts will lead us to success." The theme chosen for the edition to be held from 10 June to 10 September is "Future Energy", a subject of global interest, as highlighted by the number of participants: A little more than 100 days from the inauguration day, 115 countries and 18 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation at the show/event . With 5 million visitors expected, Astana will also be a test case in operational and technological terms, as well as in terms of security. "We have carefully studied the experience of the Milan and Shanghai Expos, the Olympic Games in Sochi and Rio de Janeiro - said the President of Astana Expo 2017, Akhmetzhan Yessimov - and based on these studies, we have developed an operational plan to ensure maximum security and safety for all participants at the Expo". But Italy, as well as providing useful lessons to help avoid repeating certain errors of the past, also brings with it the excellence of Made in Italy. During the encounter Kazakh Exposition heads signed an agreement to entrust "e-venti Kazakhstan" (a company born from the collaboration between the Bergamo based company e.20 Srl, headed by Elisabetta Lanfranchi, and several Kazakh companies in the sector, and run by another Italian, Marco Beretta) with the management of all business matching services between the companies participating at the event, and mostly operating in the oil and gas, new technologies for energy sustainability as well as in health services and hi-tech service sectors. The Astana Expo will thus also feature as a great opportunity to introduce the world to a large Asian country, rich in resources but also in talent, ready to change course in terms of respecting the environment. Compared to six years ago, the fact that there is talk of wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal power in a country where these resources account for less than 1% of the energy sector, no longer appears remarkable. To quote the words of Marat Omarov, head of Contents and Events for the upcoming Expo: "The paradigm is changing. Indeed, the whole world is changing. We have seen what facing energy crises entails. And we must all reckon with the environment. We want to be among the pioneers, not among those who follow the flow. Hence, let's go to it."