By Nigar Orujova
Kazakhstan will invite Azerbaijani companies and scientists to EXPO 2017, which will be held in Astana in 2017, Kazakh First Deputy Foreign Minister Rapil Zhoshybayev said.
Zhoshybayev said, "Future Energy" would be the main theme of the international exhibition and Azerbaijan has an extensive experience in the energy sector. "So Kazakhstan is interested in the participation of Azerbaijani businessmen and scientists at the EXPO," he said.
Kazakhstan will hold EXPO 2017 presentation in different countries, including Azerbaijan in the near future, he said.
"There will be presentation of not only business opportunities, but also opportunities for tourism. I will hold meetings with scientists and businessmen who want to work in this field. Perhaps we will even invite interested volunteers and students," Zhoshybayev said.
He said all Kazakh embassies have already been assigned to make future presentations. To this end, they will discuss the matter with the leadership of the country in which they work.
The exhibition will involve more than 100 countries and over 10 international organizations.
A number of new facilities, pavilions, about 70 new hotels of different levels and new parking lot will be constructed across the city in preparation for the EXPO.
While signing contracts, the priority would be given to local companies and the companies that have already been working in Astana and know the specifics of working in the city. Kazakhstan has also invited several construction companies with a worldwide reputation.
"We will invite everyone who is interested in the project," Zhoshybayev said.
Kazakhstan also plans to facilitate the visa procedures for those who are willing to visit the EXPO.
"At present, the latest technological aspects of visa policy have been developed. An electronic visa is being introduced. Now it is possible for anyone to get a visa via Internet," he stressed.
Moreover, an option is being considered based on which anyone who buys a ticket to Kazakhstan can visit the EXPO territory free.
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are regularly expanding cooperation in a number of spheres.
Recently, Azerbaijani entrepreneurs were offered investment projects in Kazakhstan, the Azerbaijani Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) said.
Some twenty-three projects with the total value of about $220 million are planned to be implemented in North-Kazakhstan region.
These projects include the construction of a facility on reception and processing of waste, production of wood-based panels, agricultural equipment, creation of livestock complex and establishment of other facilities.
"The entrepreneurs interested in participating in these projects can get the necessary information from the Kazakh embassy in Azerbaijan," the report said.
In January-May 2014, trade turnover between the two countries amounted to 132.94 million, decreasing by 10.16 percent in a year, according to the State Customs Committee. Some 118.36 million of the turnover accounted for import of Kazakh products and only 14.58 million - exports from Azerbaijan.
Currently, some 52 Kazakh companies representing different sectors of the economy are operating in Azerbaijan. There are more than 700 legal entities with Azerbaijani capital in Kazakhstan. About 50 enterprises with Azerbaijani capital have been registered only in the western region of Kazakhstan.
Since 2005, the volume of Azerbaijani investment in Kazakhstan's economy exceeded $130 million. About $40 million have been invested in Kazakhstan only last year.