Kazakhstan joined the BIE in 1997 and has been an active participant in World Expos and Specialised Expos ever since, starting with Expo 1998 in Lisbon. Its pavilions have been awarded on several occasions, including Expo 2008 Zaragoza and Expo 2015 Milan. In 2012, the General Assembly of the BIE elected Kazakhstan as the host of Specialised Expo 2017, which is being organised in Astana.