India to participate in Astana EXPO-2017

India has agreed to participate in the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana, the Capital of Kazakhstan. Announcing this at a press conference held in New Delhi First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev, who is also the Commissioner of EXPO-2017, said he has already met Secretary(ER & DPA) of Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta and Secretary, Ministry of Tourism N. K. Sinha to discuss issues relating to the exhibition.

The Minister said, “The MEA has requested for larger space at the EXPO measuring 2000 to 3000 square metres, but almost all exhibitors are being given 500 square metres and in case of India, the best that could be done is to give the largest area of 1000 square metres. The timing of the EXPO also coincides with ‘Days of India’ being organized in Astana.”

Minister Zhoshybayev said the delegation has already visited 30 countries seeking their participation. So far 36 have given consent to participate including four international organizations. “We expect a hundred countries and 15 international organizations to be there at EXPO-17 which will be held from 10 June to 10 September and is expected to draw over five million visitors.”

The EXPO will be spread out on 104 hectares of land of which pavilions will be on 25 hectares. The construction of pavilions will be completed by 2016.
The Minister thanked India for its support “which was confirmed by the Indian Prime Minister during his recent visit to Astana.”

He said that during his flight to New Delhi from Astana, he found the plane was full of passengers which showed the growing interest of Kazakh people in India.
“Our economic relations are on the upswing. Trade between the two countries recorded end last year was USD 1.5 billion which gave India the second top position. This, however, is not the peak and the figures will increase.”

Asked if the balance of trade was in favour of Kazakhstan, he agreed saying one billion worth of exports came from Kazakhstan and over 300 million from India.
The Kazakh Minister said he also discussed the issue of easing visa procedures with the Indian side. At the same time the necessity of direct flights between Astana and New Delhi were also underlined.

The Kazakh Minister is also meeting the Commerce Secretary. The Minister said a major conference on alternative energy is planned for 2016 where scientists in the field from different countries are being invited. As the theme of the exhibition is energy, the Kazakh delegation led by Minister Zhoshybayev is also meeting scientists working on alternative energy in Bangalore. “We will also go to Silicon valley in California, Singapore and some other countries meeting scientists and inviting them. Some auto manufacturing companies are also expected to show their products using alternate sources as fuel. Japanese are participating with new autos run on hydrogen as fuel. Major oil companies are coming, Chinese transportation companies and energy saving ones are also participating. The stress is on finding new sources of energy for future.

The Kazakh Minister said since his country is producing Uranium, they will put up show on latest nuclear technology.