Nazarbayev heaps criticism on EXPO-2017 preparations27 july 2015, 17:52
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev urged to step up promotion of the upcoming EXPO-2017, focus on developing logistic, ensuring security and training volunteers, Tengrinews reports citing the presidential press-office.
In his speech at the meeting on preparations for the EXPO-2017 in Astana Nazarbayev stressed the importance of promoting the event abroad.
"Today there is no clear communication or media plan. The promotion is not being handled comprehensively. All the efforts go into one-shot events. Only a through-through strategy will enable us to attract 5 million visitors that is one of the indicators of the exhibition's success," Nazarbayev said.
The President said that the level of awareness of the EXPO to be held in Astana in 2017 was very low in the international community.
"Presentations of the exhibition should be organized at various large economic, tourist and sports events. The Davos Forum, St Petersburg Forum and Almaty Economic Forum should be used to invite countries to participate. At the same time, 85% of the visitors (around 4.25 million people) are expected to come from Kazakhstan (a country with a population of 17 million), that is why we have to clearly understand how many visitors are coming from each region, how they will be traveling and where they will be staying. Akimats (municipal authorities) of cities and oblasts should use their resources to raise awareness of everyone in Kazakhstan about the importance of the exhibition and its goals," Nazarbayev continued.
President Nazarbayev instructed First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Minister of Investments and Development Asset Issekeshev and the Akims (mayors and governors) to develop a plan of international and domestic promotions of the exhibition and ensure its effective implementation.
Speaking about the need to make the exhibition profitable for Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev said: "According to the Registration Dossier that we filed, we expect getting a revenue of around €330 million via sponsors, ticket sales, catering and other services. That is why signing contracts with global sponsors is crucial to make the EXPO-2017 profitable. According to the plan set forth in the Dossier we should attract over €200 million in sponsor money, including through attracting 8 global partners of the EXPO," Nazarbayev said.
Participation of international companies, according to the President, would have a positive affect on the county's image and help attract more investments.
"It will boost the promotion of the exhibition. The international community should associate the EXPO with global brands that will help promote the exhibition on every continent. Kazakhstan is an economically stable country that is attractive for investments and cooperation. But if we just sit and wait, no one will come. We have to engage in active work and use all the available resources," Nazarbayev said.
Nazarbayev instructed Sagintayev, Kazakh national companies (like KazMunaiGas, KazAtomProm, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, Air Astana etc.) and Akims to create conditions for people from different regions of Kazakhstan to travel to the EXPO-2017 and develop quotas specifying the number of visitors for every region.
"Regional tourist routes, including accommodation, transport, logistics and highway infrastructure have to be developed. Also, opportunities for the EXPO visitors to visit other places in Kazakhstan should also be provided. I am instructing Samruk-Kazyna along with Air Astana and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (railway company) to work out an option that provides free entrance to the exhibition to those who purchase flight and railway tickets during the exhibition time. Other airlines should do the same," Nazarbayev said.
He reminded that the number of visitors would pose a substantial load on all the services in the city.
"All the services, including those involved in provision of visa support, customs procedures, hotel services, taxi, restaurants will have to be thoroughly arranged, coordinated and rendered at the highest level. Besides, it is important to make sure that service personnel can communicate in foreign languages," Nazarbayev added.
The President also addressed security issues in view of the increasing terrorist threat worldwide.
"Law enforcement of our country must already start preparing and have relevant plans. A coordinated work of the whole law enforcement block is required. I instruct the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Committee of National Security and Syrbar External Intelligence Service to undertake comprehensive security measures during preparation and hosting of the exhibition," Nazarbayev said.
Volunteering at the exhibition, too, was mentioned in Nazarbayev's speech. Volunteers, according to the President, had to be trained prior to the event.
"It will be an interesting experience for young people who want to learn something new and meet new people. Volunteers should be picked not only from Astana, but also from other regions of the country," he added.
Nazarbayev emphasized the importance of cooperative and effective work of all the organizing agencies.
"Today we see that there is no cooperation between the agencies involved in the preparations. The Government is not ensuring a proper coordination of the entire project. Each agency works on its own narrow section of the project. There is no effective cooperation. That is why I am asking the Prime Minister to suggest a candidate who would be responsible for the preparation and hosting of the EXPO-2017 in the Government," the President of Kazakhstan said.
"There is very little time left. We need an active and coordinated work from all the government agencies. I an instructing the Government and all participants of the meeting to implement the assigned tasks. The exhibition must be hosted on a high level. I know we can do it. The situation today is complicated. We are allocating money from the National Fund, so each and every tenge must be put to good use. We must work together for the benefit of our country," Nazarbayev concluded.
Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina