ASTANA – On May 22, the first day of the three-day Sixth Astana Economic Forum (AEF), world leaders, politicians, experts and energy scholars gathered in Astana at the Palace of Independence to discuss issues related to EXPO 2017, which is centered on the theme of Future Energy. Two panel sessions on the complex issues related to alternative energy were organized in the framework of the economic forum.
On the first day of the forum, press conferences and interactive debates attracted a large number of spectators interested in learning what the EXPO will mean for the country. Among the topics of discussions concerning EXPO 2017 were the challenges of transitioning towards a sustainable energy future, the availability of infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution, environmental aspects of renewable energy sources and renewable energy’s likely effects on society.
Addressing the participants, Talgat Yermegiyayev, chief executive officer of National Company “Astana EXPO 2017, outlined the ways in which the EXPO’s theme, Future Energy, is relevant for Kazakhstan.
“We are discussing the prospects and challenges of alternative energy within the Astana Economic Forum not for the first time. Future Energy is becoming more attractive for both Kazakhstan and the international community,” he said.
Dr. Siddharth Saxena, chairperson of Cambridge University’s Central Asia Forum, director of the Cambridge Kazakhstan Centre and honorary secretary of the University’s Committee for Central and Inner Asia, also added that the “Future of energy is the future of our universe. How we eat and how we breathe, how we live and work are all intrinsically linked to how we consume energy. So the future of energy is not only dependent on finding new or renewable resources of energy, but also on how we choose to live our lives as individuals and communities. Due to the uniqueness Kazakhstan offers as a combination of its sustainability minded nomadic heritage, vast energy resources and its position as an agriculture hub, it is best positioned to provide some of the most innovative solutions to world’s energy problems at the upcoming and well-deserved Astana EXPO 2017.”
Numerous experts were invited to participate in the EXPO 2017 session, including Kazakhstan’s Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov and Aset Magauov, chief executive officer of the KAZENERGY Association.
On Nov. 22, 2012, Astana was chosen by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) as the venue for the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO2017.
According to preliminary estimates, the exhibition will bring together more than 100 participating states and 10 international organizations. Approximately 2-3 million people are expected to visit the event’s international pavilions from June to September 2017.