Kazakhstan 2015 | ECONOMY | FOCUS: EXPO

Expo 2017 is an unprecedented opportunity for the country to flaunt its advances of the last two decades. But beyond exposure, businesses in the country are enthusiastic about the financial windfall.

The next World Expo will be held in 2017 in Astana around the theme of “future energy." This global exhibition will be an opportunity for Kazakhstan to showcase its role in the promotion and discovery of sustainable, global energy solutions. More than 100 different countries will participate in the event as delegates work to formulate new strategies for the efficient and innovative use of energy. At the exposition, leading international organizations and companies in innovative technologies will share their knowledge with the international community. In total, more than two million people are also expected to visit the exhibition. And since the capital was chosen to host the Expo back in 2012, full-scale work on the implementation of one of Kazakhstan's key projects is already well under way.

The entire city and surrounding area will be harnessed to promote this paradigm, which is mirrored by the President's renewable energy strategy. The exhibition complex will be integrated into the capital where new technologies will be developed and applied.

The economic impact of the project is expected to exceed $1 billion in investments. The National Company "Astana EXPO-2017" expects to gain about €280 million from the exhibition, mostly through sponsorships, ticket sales, the use of logos, and increased business.

Companies from different sectors are lining up to take advantage of the exposure that the exhibition will draw to Astana. Speaking to TBY, Daniyar Bizhanov, the Business Development Officer for Jet Airlines illustrated this when he explained that, “during Expo the country will be saturated with high-level businessmen that will be traveling throughout Kazakhstan. We are developing different projects that will meet the demand of business aviation in the country. One of these projects is called “Air Taxi," and we are planning to launch this service in 2016."

The hospitality industry is especially well positioned to benefit from the event. Philippe Mahuas, the GM of Astana Marriott Hotel pointed out that, “Astana has gone from nowhere to having seven international chain hotels. The Marriott only opened in August 2014, and I think the potential is significant because of the willingness of the government to capitalize on events such as Expo 2017. You cannot create an event like Expo 2017 without having a solid network of hotels."

Expo 2017 will be centered around a 240,000sqm exhibition area, with the Kazakhstan Pavilion occupying the most prominent position. This pavilion will be the main exposition pavilion, laid out in a spherical with a diameter of 80m and a height of 100m. Corporate and themed pavilions as well as trade, entertainment, and other facilities will complete the project. An additional 26 construction projects will be completed by 2017, in time for the opening of the event. The peak of construction activity will be in 2015 and in general, most of the serious infrastructure activity is supposed to wind down by December 2016. In accordance with the Convention on International Exhibitions, Expo 2017 will last three months from June 10 to Sept 10, 2017.