President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that his country will extend and expand the trial visa-free regime announced last year and due to end this July. Now, citizens from 20 countries will not need visas for short trips to Kazakhstan, he announced at a Kazakh-Italian business forum in Milan on June 27. About 20 agreements for a total amount of $500 million were also signed at the forum.
The Kazakh delegation headed by Nazarbayev visited Milan to take part in a ceremony dedicated to the National Day of Kazakhstan at EXPO Milano 2015 as well as to visit the business forum. The President also held bilateral talks with Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi.
Delivering a speech at the business forum, Nazarbayev said, “Investors are given the opportunity to attract foreign labour without any quotas and permits. Besides, we have established a visa-free regime for investors from 10 countries, including Italy. From July 15, we will prolong the visa-free regime for investors, and extended it for another 10 countries: Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland. I think not many countries in the world can offer such beneficial conditions for investors."
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with an integrated single market of 180 million people makes Kazakhstan attractive for investments, Nazarbayev pointed out. The trade bloc of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia introduces a free movement of goods, capital, services and workforce. Kazakhstan can be considered as a gate to the EAEU, he explained.
Nazarbayev noted that EXPO 2017, which will be held in Astana in two years, will be a platform for demonstrating the best world developments and trends in the energy sector.
“The exhibition will also give a powerful impetus to our fruitful cooperation. I invite all of you to take part in EXPO 2017. I am confident that today's forum is another important step to strengthen relations between Kazakhstan and Italy," the President said.
Renzi stressed that in addition to economic cooperation, the two countries share the idea of ensuring world peace, understanding between peoples and cultural interaction.
“It is important that all the countries of Asia and Europe work together in order to protect our planet from the extremism and religious fanaticism," he said.
Renzi noted the need to use Italy and Kazakhstan's trade potential in the agricultural and energy sectors, and suggested exchanging experiences between the students of higher education institutions.
Kazakhstan and Italy signed joint agreements in the agriculture, food, textiles, oil and gas, machine building and construction sectors.
International expositions traditionally hold National Day celebrations for the participating countries. This year, 110 out of 147 participating countries in EXPO Milano 2015 will host presentations. The National Days of Turkmenistan, Morocco, Argentina, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, and the U.K. have been already conducted since the opening of the exhibition in early May.
At the flag-raising ceremony, Nazarbayev and Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina gave speeches.
After the ceremony, Nazarbayev and Renzi visited Kazakhstan's pavilion.
Following the programme, Nazarbayev and Renzi moved to the Italian pavilion, where they visited the exhibition site and held negotiations. The parties discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, investment and energy sectors, as well as exchanged views on topical issues of the international agenda. After the completion of talks, the officials left their records in the guest book.
Government officials from Kazakhstan and Italy, including Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov, Deputy Chair of Kazakhstan's Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament) Dariga Nazarbayeva, Mayor of Astana and Head of the National Company Astana EXPO 2017 Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev, business community representatives of two countries, as well as General Secretary of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Loscertales attended the events.
Kazakhstan has taken part in the world expositions since 2005, but this year the country's pavilion occupies a special place. During the first two months of operation, it has drawn great interest from tourists and guests of the exhibition.
The country's pavilion, created by the Facts and Fiction, a company from Germany, is presented under the topic, “Kazakhstan is the country of opportunities." According to the Italian media, Kazakhstan's pavilion is in the top five most visited country expositions. About 4,500 visitors attend the pavilion on a daily basis. Moreover, according to voting results provided by the popular Italian newspaper Reppublica, Kazakhstan's pavilion is currently in second position after Colombia's.
Kazakhstan's exposition has been attended by prominent political and cultural figures including the prince of Monaco, the prime minister of China, the ministers of economy of Germany and Hungary and the mayor of London.
The two-storey, 3,000 square-metre building is divided into several exposition zones on various subjects, such as 'Land cultivation,' 'Animal-husbandry,' 'Interesting facts about Kazakhstan,' 'Aquatic culture of Kazakhstan,' 'Kazakhstan's ecology' and 'Agriculture of the future.'
Visitors can get acquainted with nature conservation in the country, the culture of the country and the principles of sustainable development.