CARICOM Countries to Participate in EXPO 2017

ASTANA – Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Suriname have decided to participate in EXPO 2017 in Astana, it was announced in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Photo credit: abstvradio.com

Photo credit: abstvradio.com

At the General Assembly, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev met with Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin Larocque. Larocque will serve as commissioner on behalf of the CARICOM countries that will take part in the exhibition.

During the meeting, Zhoshybayev reviewed preparations for the event and invited Larocque to participate in the international participants meeting that will be held in early 2017. Larocque noted the relevance of the EXPO 2017 theme, Future Energy, for Caribbean states seeking to develop alternative energy due to their lack of traditional energy sources.

Larocque also confirmed his intention to maintain a close dialogue with Kazakhstan, now a member of the UN Security Council, concerning water, energy and food security.

Zhoshybayev also held talks with UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Gyan Chandra Acharya and UN Under-Secretary-General for Sustainable Development Wu Hongbo. The sides discussed thematic events planned by UN agencies for EXPO 2017 as well as the implementation of the UN Convention on Climate Change. CARICOM was established in 1973 as a successor to the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA). Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian country accredited with the CARICOM Secretariat.

On Sept. 21–22, Zhoshybayev paid a working visit to Canada, where he met with official bodies and representatives of business circles of the country.

At a meeting with Director General, Europe and Eurasia Bureau at Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada Leigh Sarty, the sides discussed bilateral relations, simplifying visa regimes and the participation of Canadian companies in EXPO 2017.

Zhoshybayev noted the significance of the meeting of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Prime Minister of Canada James Trudeau on the margins of the G20 Summit in China, during which the Kazakh leader invited him to visit Astana in 2017.

He also highlighted that the participation of the Canadian companies in EXPO 2017 will strengthen bilateral cooperation and advance new levels of interaction. Sarty expressed confidence in the success of the Astana expo.

In Toronto, Zhoshybayev took part in the Kazakhstan and Canada: Opportunities for Cooperation within EXPO 2017 conference organised by the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) and the Kazakhstan-Canada Business Council. Top managers of companies such as Cameco Corporation, Uranium One, Phoenix Geophysics, Minas Energy, Gowling WLG and others attended the event. Canadian participants noted that the theme of the expo will provide companies the opportunity to present advanced experience, new technologies and innovations in sustainable development, the green economy and environmental protection to the whole world.

Following  meetings companies expressed willingness to participate in EXPO 2017 and to hold a regular meeting of the Kazakhstan-Canada Business Council during the event. Canada has extensive experience in organising international exhibitions. The country is known for EXPO 1967 in Montreal and EXPO 1986 in Vancouver.