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Money of single pension fund not for EXPO-2017: Kelimbetov

19 february 2013, 12:11
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Kairat Kelimbetov. ©pm.kz
Kairat Kelimbetov. ©pm.kz
Kazakhstan will hold a contest to select a symbol of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana and a master-plan of the EXPO village, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing Kazakhstan Deputy Prime-Minister Kairat Kelimbetov.

“We are planning to announce an international contest for architects and designers to select a symbol of the EXPO-2017 in Astana and a master-plan of the EXPO village. We count on participation of 30 world-class architects who will come to Astana for a brainstorm in end of March,” he said in an interview to Interfax-Kazakhstan. “There are many ideas about the look of EXPO village and we need to choose the best of them,” he added.

According to Kelimbetov, the results of the contest will be summed up by the organizers by the middle of summer.

Speaking of the investments needed to prepare and hold the EXPO-2017, Vice-PM reminded that the International Exhibitions Bureau had to approve Kazakhstan’s registration file in October. “Right now the estimate remains the same: $1.5 billion,” he noted. “I can assure you that tax-payers’ money will be spent on preparation of the EXPO very diligently and transparently. A significant part of the required funds will be attracted from investors and sponsors,” Kelimbetov stressed.

He also deflated the rumors that the government was planning to use the funds of the coming single pension fund to finance preparations for the EXPO. “I have heard an absurd version that the single pension fund is being established to finance preparations for the EXPO. I would like to officially assure the tax payers and retired persons: there have been no such ideas!” the Vice-PM said.

He reminded that the EXPO will be held during three months in summer 2017 in the EXPO village located at the area of 120 hectares near Nazarbayev University. 25 hectares of this territory are allocated for the countries’ pavilions. The EXPO is expected to be visited by up to 5 million people. “Construction of the EXPO village is not very costly. Especially since the budget investments into the project will be minimized through active use of state-private partnership mechanism or attraction of sponsors,” the Vice-Prime-Minister noted.

“Another thing is that it would be absurd to invited two million visitors, mostly from foreign countries, and fail to prepare well for the reception. Astana has to look praiseworthy, be recognizable and memorable,” Kelimbetov said. “That requires us to rebrand the city as a world-class capital and solve a whole range of current problems in the infrastructure, transport and energy sectors. I am talking about modernization of the airport, construction of light-rail transport lines, new railway station, etc.”

According to him, the costs of these projects “are to the most part related to our local development, even though indirectly they are also linked to holding the EXPO”.

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