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The course of preparation for EXPO-2017 discussed in Astana

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Today, a meeting was held on socio-economic development of Astana and on the preparation of the international specialized exhibition “Astana Expo-2017” chaired by the Head of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The meeting discussed vital issues and prospects for the development of the capital, as well as organizational aspects of the international exhibition, which will open in 48 days. To date, 115 countries, 21 international organizations have confirmed participation in the exhibition; 2.5 million tourists are expected to arrive.

Opening the meeting, the Head of State noted the importance of the upcoming exhibition EXPO-2017 for the country and the people, drawing attention to the need for thorough preparation for receiving of foreign guests and tourists from all regions of Kazakhstan.

We have reached the final stage of preparation, a lot of work has been done. The capital must be ready to receive the large number of guests. It is necessary to prepare infrastructure, hotels, cultural objects, city services, � the President said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that Astana should become one of the best cities in the world, convenient and comfortable for people’s lives. In this regard, the President gave a number of instructions for the further development of the capital.

We must introduce modern digital technologies in all areas of urban management. The government should define Astana as the main platform for the introduction of digital technologies. According to my instructions, the International Technopark of IT Startups will be created on the territory of EXPO, � the Head of State said.

The President of Kazakhstan also instructed to develop the city following the example of Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and turn it into a financial and business hub on the scale of the Eurasian space.

Today 2700 foreign companies operate in Astana. They invested about 3.2 billion US dollars in the city economy. At the same time, the existing opportunities are not fully used. The potential of the special economic zone of Astana is poorly involved. Further development of the capital must consider the urbanization processes. By 2030 its population may grow by another one million people. This puts the city before the task of ensuring productive employment by creating new permanent jobs, � Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed.

The Head of State separately dwelled on the issue of housing sector development and instructed the Government to deal with queues for housing from the state housing fund.

The city must maintain the volume of annual housing commissioning at a level of at least 2 million square meters per year. It is necessary to intensify work on the demolition of illegal buildings, development of existing 15 thousand garden plots, which should not exist according to the General Plan. It is necessary to free the central parts of the city from ramshackle house buildings. I instruct the Akim of Astana to make proposals on the compact development of the capital, � the President said.

In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the growth of the “shadow” market rental housing, the problem of co-investors and drew attention to the need for modern transport infrastructure.

Astana has a significant potential for becoming a tourist center. I instruct the Government together with Akims to take measures on developing the capital tourism, � the President of Kazakhstan said.

The Head of State noted the insufficient work carried out to provide the capital with food.

The vegetable stores, communal market, the network of trade pavilions built in the city are not fully loaded. Thus, out of eight vegetable stores, two are not operated, and the rest are loaded by a quarter. At the same time, over the past two years Astana imported food for worth more than 42 billion tenge. In many instances, those are products we can produce ourselves. All of this shows that the work to develop the food belt around Astana, in fact, failed, � Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The Head of State dwelled on the issues of preparing the city for the international exhibition “EXPO-2017” and determined the priority tasks for the national company and the Government.

The construction of most of the facilities is completed and ready for operation. At the same time, work is still continuing on the Congress Center and the hotel. It is necessary to ensure their timely delivery. The guests’ impressions will form from the moment they arrive in the airport and train stations. Full readiness of infrastructure is necessary. Airports of the cities of Almaty, Karaganda, and Kokshetau, being the reserve, must also be ready to receive guests, � the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the need to organize a roadside service for tourists who arrive by car.

The Head of State also focused on the organization of mass cultural events and significant events in the days of the exhibition, information work, the safety of guests and residents of the capital, and also inquired about willingness of volunteers to meet the guests.

On the exhibition’s content. Not all participating countries have confirmed their exposition projects. I instruct the Ministry of Internal Affairs and EXPO to accelerate the process of content filling of their pavilions by all foreign participants. The Kazakh pavilion will also be in the center of attention. 28 domestic developments were selected to be there, including the projects if our universities. It is important that our exhibits are not inferior to international ones, � the President of Kazakhstan stressed.

The meeting was also addressed by Astana Akim A. Issekeshev, Chairman of the Board of JSC NC Astana EXPO-22017 A. Yessimov, Minister of Energy K. Bozumbayev and Minister of Internal affairs K. Kassymov.

Source: Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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