Yessimov Says EXPO 2017 Preparations Well on Track

Роман Суханов

Photo credit: Roman Sukhanov

ASTANA – EXPO 2017 has negotiated with the International Exhibitions Bureau to achieve the lowest prices for the event, making it not only affordable to the Kazakh people but also attractive to foreign tourists, said chairman of the Astana EXPO 2017 national company Akhmetzhan Yessimov. Tickets will be released June 10 and available only online until August, after which they can be purchased at ticket windows.

“So far, I can say that prices for the tickets will be slightly higher than cinema tickets,” he said at a May 16 meeting of the Public Council set up to oversee the Astana EXPO 2017 company.

He added EXPO 2017 has attracted more than €100 million (US$113.2 million) and collected 244 billion tenge (US$744.5 million) in investments. The investments, used to construct the facilities, have created 5,300 jobs.

“Approximately 10,000 workers have already occupied the construction sites, which does not include the 30,000 people working in enterprises engaged in supplying goods and services to the exhibition,” he said.

“According to Ranking research agency, overall 4,500 jobs will have been created during the implementation of Kazakhstan’s accelerated industrial and innovative development programme in 2015-2019, while EXPO 2017 has enabled employing many more people in 2015-2016,” said Yessimov.

The chairman added the international community has shown great interest in the exhibition. He noted 84 countries and 14 international organisations have already confirmed their participation.

“In general, in accordance with a registration dossier we need to attract at least 100 countries. We have no doubt about that, because in addition to 84 states, 20 countries are on a separate support programme such as developing countries,” said Yessimov.

To encourage tourists, the company has arranged presentations on the platforms of the world’s largest events and invited leading media. To date, total coverage and media efforts has reached an estimanted 221 million people and by the end of the year the company’s management is planning to increase that number to 500 million people. When the exhibition starts, 900 million people around the world are expected to be aware of EXPO 2017.

Yessimov drew the participants’ attention to two points to close the meeting.

“First, President Nursultan Nazarbayev tasked us to maximise local content for construction of the expo. The President praised the work done. The exhibition attracted 256 domestic manufacturers and signed contracts with them worth up to 35 billion tenge (US$106.8 million). The total volume of rendered services and supplied materials amounted to 255.8 billion tenge (US$780.5 million). Secondly, on the other hand, we have seen that Kazakh products are able to compete with their foreign analogues in terms of quality,” he said.

The international specialised exhibition EXPO 2017 under the theme of Future Energy will take place in Astana from June 10 to Sept. 10, 2017.

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