Expo 2017, an Opportunity for Kazakhstan Developing Green Energy
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.