ASTANA – The capital of Kazakhstan is to hold the opening ceremony on Friday for Expo 2017 Astana, an international event focusing on renewable energy with the participation of 115 countries and 22 international organizations.
Seventeen heads of state and government from around the world, including King Felipe of Spain and leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries, consisting of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India, will participate in the ceremony.
The opening ceremony will feature several events, such as a multimedia show at the Congress Center, where robots and people will interact on stage, a concert at the amphitheater, a light and laser show at the contemporary Nur Alem pavilion and fireworks.
At the Congress Center, attendees will enjoy a ballet performed by drones under the direction of Andree Verleger with a soundtrack created especially for the event.
In addition, a concert featuring traditional music from the five participating continents is to be held at the amphitheater.
Expo 2017 Astana, which concludes on Sept. 10, will feature more than 3,000 artistic, cultural and sporting events, including 71 performances by Cirque Du Soleil designed for the Expo at a price of between 12 and 18 euros, and concerts by international artists, such as Placido Domingo, Steve Aoki, Eros Ramazzotti and Afrojack, among others.
Exhibitors will present advances in renewable energy and will propose ideas on how to create renewable energy sources, such as Germany’s smart homes, which generate more energy than they consume, and the “artificial sun” that can be found in the Chinese pavilion.
All the offerings follow the theme “Future Energy,” chosen by the president of Kazakhstan.
The event, which opens to the public on June 10, is expected to draw between 2 million and 5 million visitors. For this reason, several hotels were constructed with a capacity of 35,000 guests, including the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel that opened June 4 and residences for 40,000 students, as well as improvements to the public transportation system.
Kazakhstan has also built a new mega-terminal at Astana International Airport that will increase capacity from 3.6 million to 8.2 million passengers a year.
In addition, the Central Asian country reached different bilateral and multilateral “open skies” agreements for the three months of the Expo and made visa requirements more flexible for visitors from dozens of countries.
Expo 2017 Astana seeks to reflect on the importance of moving toward a global energy system increasingly based on renewable energy sources, which, in turn, will help reduce CO2 emissions and dependence on oil, and increase the energy independence of various regions and communities around the world.