The Astana Economic Forum hosted on its first day a three-panel symposium on « Expo 2017 – Energy for sustainable development ».
The first session, dedicated to the contribution of Expos to economical and technological development, was inaugurated by Mr Rapil Zhoshybaev, Commissioner of the Expo 2017 and First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, and Mr. Talgat Ermegiyaev, Chairman of the board of the National Company Astana Expo 2017.
Mr. Ivan Prostakov, Counsellor of the BIE, followed by expressing the greetings of the Secretary General of the BIE and went on to present the numerous opportunities Expos can offer to countries and host cities and he insisted on the importance of the Expo theme. To illustrate this statement, Mr. Eduardo Lopez Busquets, Former General Director of Institutional Relations of the Expo Commissioner, shared the experience of Expo Zaragoza and Mr Luis Frauca, from EPTISA engineering explained the project of transforming Zaragoza into a « Smart city ».
Astana sees the Expo as a means to develop the city and its region by creating a sustainable Expo site and turning the city into a hub for green technologies. During the second panel session on the green energies that will be showcased at Expo 2017, Ms Anca Anghel, in charge of the Expo at the BIE, recalled the impact of previous Expos in the fields of environment and sustainable development. Many experts and businessmen were able to share their ideas and concerns regarding current ecological threats and the solutions that Expo Astana could present to boost sustainable development.
The last panel session on Expo 2017 was dedicated to business opportunities offered by Expo Astana. The organizers of the project presented the details of the Expo like the masterplan, the activities that will be organized and the post-expo project.
The symposium ended with the signing of an MoU between the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists and the Coalition For a Green Economy and G-Global to develop the thematic content of the Expo of Astana.
All speakers of the event were unanimous: Expo 2017 will not only offer numerous opportunities for the development of Kazakhstan, it can also be a turning point in the search for sustainable solutions to the challenges of energy.