The 160th session of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) took place in Paris on 23 November, during which Expo 2017 Astana presented delegates with its progress report.
The presentation was the last to be given by organisers of Expo 2017 before the Specialised Expo opens on 10 June next year under the theme ‘Future Energy’. With less than 200 days until opening, the General Assembly was told that Astana is ready to welcome international participants and that the site is almost ready.
The Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 National Company, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, declared that 90% of construction work on the site has been completed, with all site developments going according to schedule. Mr. Yessimov added that international pavilions are ready and that five of them have already been handed over to participant countries (China, France, Germany, Hungary and Turkey). Addressing delegates, the Chairman stated “I would like to urge all the Official Participants to start the installation works. Pavilions are at your disposal.”
Rapil Zhoshybayev, the Commissioner of Expo 2017, announced that over 120 countries and international organisations have formally confirmed their participation. Regarding the events calendar during the three months of the Expo, the Commissioner told delegates that 70 countries have already reserved their national days, and that several international summits will take place during the Expo, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Final preparations will continue over the next few months, with the final International Participants’ Meeting (IPM) set to take place on 22 and 23 February 2017. Organisers also assured the General Assembly of their efforts to continue promoting the Expo, announcing that a road show around Europe is scheduled for the Spring of 2017.
Vicente G. Loscertales, the Secretary General of the BIE, congratulated Expo 2017 Astana on making “enormous progress” in the past six months. As the first event of its kind in Central Asia, Mr. Loscertales forecasts that the Expo will be a “showcase of culture and innovation, which will allow people to foresee how the future is shaped.”