Expo 2017, an Op­por­tu­nity for Kaza­khstan De­vel­op­ing Green En­ergy

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Special Report - —An ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Shakhrat Nury­shev, Am­bas­sador of Kaza­khstan to China By Linda Zhang

In 2017, Kaza­khstan will host a World Expo un­der the theme of “Fu­ture En­ergy” and will be the first Cen­tral Asian coun­try to hold such an event. En­ergy co­op­er­a­tion is not the only fo­cus of the Expo, as it will also bring to at­ten­tion some ma­jor and im­por­tant dis­cus­sions be­tween China and Kaza­khstan. What achieve­ments will Kaza­khstan ex­pect to gain? And through this Expo, what will the fu­ture of en­ergy co­op­er­a­tions be­tween China and Kaza­khstan be­come? China’s For­eign Trade had an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Shakhrat Nury­shev, Kaza­khstan’s Am­bas­sador to China, be­fore this Expo.

To pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment in the field of en­ergy of Kaza­khstan through Expo 2017

The theme of this Expo is “Fu­ture En­ergy”, and when men­tioned of this theme, Shakhrat Nury­shev thought that the aim is to stim­u­late peo­ple to think and con­sider how en­ergy in­flu­ences peo­ple and planet Earth. He said, “Green En­ergy” is the most promis­ing di­rec­tion in the world to­day. The premise of its de­vel­op­ment is re­quired to mit­i­gate en­ergy short­ages, and to solve eco­log­i­cal prob­lems in the new stage of eco­nomic tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment. From lo­cal re­gional wind power plants to global en­ergy projects, the range and scale of re­new­able en­ergy is very ex­ten­sive.

Shakhrat Nury­shev in­tro­duced that Kaza­khstan it­self has rich na­ture re­sources, and the gov­ern­ment pays close at­ten­tion to the en­ergy sec­tor. Kaza­khstan has adopted the con­cept of a green econ­omy. “But we are aware that the cur­rent world en­ergy is limited, and should be de­voted to­wards de­vel­op­ing new en­ergy sources. This is one rea­son why Kaza­khstan set the 2017 World Expo theme as ‘ Fu­ture En­ergy’, hop­ing to pro­mote Kaza­khstan’s de­vel­op­ment in the en­ergy sec­tor and con­trib­ute to the world’s en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion.”

On Jan­uary 30th, 2017 Kaza­khstan’s Pres­i­dent Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev de­liv­ered his an­nual ad­dress to the na­tion en­ti­tled “Kaza­khstan’s third stage of mod­erni­sa­tion: to en­hance na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness”. At its core, the ad­dress aims to ac­cel­er­ate eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal mod­ern­iza­tion and im­prove the coun­try’s busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in or­der to grad­u­ally shi f t away f rom a de­pen­dence on tra­di­tional en­ergy and na­ture re­sources. The fu­ture of Kaza­khstan de­pends on eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion. When dis­cussing what achieve­ments Kaza­khstan will gain from the Expo, the am­bas­sador said that the World Expo is a plat­form that can ben­e­fit ev­ery­one from ev­ery sec­tor. It has

in­jected a pow­er­ful im­pe­tus as to the in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of As­tana and across the whole of Kaza­khstan. The 2017 Expo is not just a chance to dis­cuss the green econ­omy, but also an op­por­tu­nity to con­sider and pro­pose what the third in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion is be­com­ing.

“As Pres­i­dent Nazarbayev said, this is the great­est achieve­ment that Kaza­khstan has had since the in­de­pen­dence of Kaza­khstan. This will be a turn­ing point for our coun­try. The world’s best sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments will be pre­sented in Asta na . A l a rge num­ber of Kaza­khstan peo­ple will see the ‘ fu­ture econ­omy’ that we yearn for.”

He said that Kaza­khstan hopes that this World Expo will en­able Kaza­khstan to de­velop its do­mes­tic tourism and in­crease the num­ber of for­eign tourists ar­riv­ing to its bor­ders. 73 tourist routes have been ex­plored in As­tana dur­ing this pe­riod, and it is es­ti­mated that about 5 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to visit the Expo.

As the host, Kaza­khstan has been work ing c losely w ith the CCPIT who is re­spon­si­ble for the or­ga­ni­za­tion and co­or­di­na­tion of China’s Pavil­ion par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Expo. When men­tioned what’s his opin­ion on the theme of the China Pavil­ion, Shakhrat Nury­shev ex­pressed that China is the first coun­try to have signed the agree­ment with Kaza­khstan and con­firmed its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Expo.

Not­ing that the theme of the China Pavil­ion is “Fu­ture en­ergy and Green Silk Road”, he con­firmed it high­lights a key con­cept as to China’s will­ing­ness to co­op­er­ate with the coun­tries along the Silk Road in sus­tain­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ment. “As we all know, China is one of the largest coun­tries who is de­vel­op­ing new en­ergy, and there is no doubt that China’s rich ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of green en­ergy is mak­ing other coun­tries take note.”

En­ergy co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Kaza­khstan de­vel­ops smoothly

When it c omes to e n e rg y co­op­er­a­tion achieve­ments achieved be­tween Kaza­khstan and China, Shakhrat Nury­shev said that the en­erg y co­op­erat ion is a ma­jor di­rec­tion for eco­nomic and trade co op e r at ion b etwe en t he two coun­tries. The num­ber and scale of projects in the field of fuel power have proved that the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries have risen to a new level. He said that China and Kaza­khstan sub-com­mi­sion of en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion is the main mech­a­nism for this piv­otal de­vel­op­ment.

The oil and gas pipe­line de­vel­op­ment be­tween the two coun­tries in­cludes the pipe­line of Atasu- Dzun­gar­ian Gate, the pin­pe­line of Kaza­khstan-china, and more. In ad­di­tion, with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of com­mer­cial Chi­nese or­ga­ni­za­tions, the Kaza­khstan Oil Pro­cess­ing Plant is un­der­go­ing con­struc­tion to drive its mod­ern­iza­tion. Kaza­khstan’s Na­tional Atomic En­ergy In­dus­try Com­pany has also im­ple­mented con­struc­tion of a fuel as­sem­bly man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in con­junc­tion with China Guang­dong Nu­clear Power Group Co.

In orde r to a c h ie v e t he s e achieve­ments, both China and Kaza­khstan have made great ef­forts to con­sol­i­date their po­si­tions us­ing lev­els of mu­tual agree­ment. With fu­ture prospects of en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Kaza­khstan pos­si­ble, the am­bas­sador said, the en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries has de­vel­oped in the en­gage­ment of trust and un­der­stand­ing, while Kaza­khstan’s ex­port po­ten­tial in the field of nat­u­ral gas and atomic en­ergy be­comes more promis­ing.

Based on the co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment, a se­ries of projects be­tween the two coun­tries are be­ing im­ple­mented, such as roads, rail­ways, air­ports, en­ergy, and other in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion. When re­fer­ring to the cur­rent progress of th­ese projects and the prospect of co­op­er­a­tion among re­gional ar­eas, Shakhrat Nury­shev said that un­der the frame­work of the Bright Road New Econ­omy, Kaza­khstan is im­ple­ment­ing many in­fra­struc­ture projects, in which the past five years in­vest­ment to the de­vel­op­ment and mod­ern­iza­tion of trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture has amounted to USD 23.2 bil­lion ( in­clud­ing USD 14.3 bil­lion in the rail­way prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, USD 362.4 mil­lion in lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture, USD 161.5 mil­lion in up­grad­ing and mod­ern­iza­tion of wa­ter­way trans­porta­tion, USD 7.5 bil­lion in re­newal and re­pair road in­fra­struc­ture, and USD 924.9 mil­lion in up­grad­ing air trans­port and air­port mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties). In the pe­riod of 2016-2020, Kaza­khstan will fur­ther in­vest and ad­di­tional USD 11 bil­lion in the trans­porta­tion sec­tor.

Ben­e­fit­ting from large- scale in­vest­ments in the trans­porta­tion sec­tor, the qual­ity of in­fra­struc­ture within 19 res­i­den­tial ar­eas has dras­ti­cally im­proved. Ac­cord­ing to 2016 World Eco­nomic re­sults, Kaza­khstan ranked sixty- third in the world eco­nomic fo­rum’s global com­pet­i­tive­ness in­dex.

Ac­cord­ing to the am­bas­sador, one of the most ground­break­ing road projects is the con­struc­tion of an in­ter­na­tional traf­fic cor­ri­dor across West­ern Europe - West­ern China, which will be­come the short­est road route in Europe with 10-12 days needed to trans­port cargo.

Rail trans­porta­tion also plays an im­por­tant role in cargo trans­porta­tion sys­tems. To­day, the de­vel­op­ment of con­tainer trans­porta­tion is in fo­cus in many coun­tries, as its an­nual growth con­tin­ues to dou­ble. In 2016, the con­tainer trans­port vol­ume reached 104,500 TEUS in the di­rec­tion of China-europe-china, com­pared with 2015’s an­nual trans­port vol­ume of 49,900 TEUS. At present, in­creas­ing the vol­ume of con­tainer traf­fic in tran­sit Kaza­khstan is un­der way (for 2020’s goal, the vol­ume of con­tainer trans­port will be in­creased by more than 3 times, while the vol­ume of con­tainer tran­sit trans­porta­tion will be in­creased by 10 times).

“Kaza­khstan is look­ing for­ward to strength­en­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of th­ese in­fra­struc­ture projects and to deep­en­ing its re­gional co­op­er­a­tion with neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing China, Rus­sia and Cen­tral Asian coun­tries, and coun­tries be­yond the im­me­di­ate bor­ders of Kaza­khstan,”said Shakhrat Nury­shev.

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