Preview: EXPO-2017, the world’s largest technological innovation show, opens at the former Communist country of Kazakhstan

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by Tatyana Nyborg

Metro Campus Associate Editor

From the late 1920s to the early 1950s, half of the territory of Kazakhstan, the republic of the Soviet Union, was covered with Stalin’s GULAGs. Famous scientists, writers, artists, business owners, farmers, Stalin’s political opponents and members of their families were imprisoned there. Many of them died from hard labor, elements and poor nutrition.

In 1991, the dictatorship of the Communist party ended and Kazakhstan became an independent country.

The new government managed by the first Kazakhstanian President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the National Congress, selected the path of transforming the economy into capitalism.

Not everything went smoothly during the change, but many years of encouraging private enterprise led to rapid economic growth.

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The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, will host EXPO-2017, the largest technological innovation exhibition in the world from June to Sept. 2017. Approximately two million people will visit the exhibition. Photo by Tatyana Nyborg
Astana is located on the Ishim River and boat tours are offered for visitors. Photo by Tatyana Nyborg

Within the last decade, the economy of Kazakhstan grew eight percent yearly, according to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United States website

In 2012, to recognize the economic success of the newborn state, the vast majority of member nations of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris voted for Kazakhstan to host EXPO-2017 in its capital, Astana.

EXPO-2017 will continue traditions started at the first World’s Fair in Hyde Park in London in 1851.

In the 19th century, Paris was the main exhibition center for a long time. The Eiffel Tower was designed as a monument for the Paris Exposition in 1889.

The World’s Fair in New York was held in 1939. Since that time, the exhibitions are devoted to specific topics predicting a better future for humanity.

The EXPO-2017 official website says, “The World Exhibitions or EXPOs have been held for more than a half century. During this time, their popularity has grown incredibly – the exhibitions are even compared with world championships and the Olympic Games.

Experts have estimated that since the first exhibition in London was held in 1851, EXPO has been visited by more than a billion people around the world. People are attracted to see technical innovations.

After all, many inventions, which received their start at EXPOs, are now used in everyday life: telephone, x-ray scanner, zipper, ice-cream waffle cups, TV sets, touch screens etc. It is so interesting to know what technical innovations will surprise us at EXPO-2017! Inventors are already preparing to present their projects in Astana.”

EXPO-2017 will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan from June to September 2017. About 100 countries will display their innovations at their booths and pavilions. Two million guests are expected to come to the exhibition.

The main theme of EXPO-2017 is “Future Energy.” The exhibition has pavilions built to demonstrate the coolest technological innovations in the field of solar, wind and geothermal energy. Kazakhstan-manufactured photovolataic panels will show the advantages of solar energy usage. Wind-powered generators, which do not depend on the direction and strength of the wind, will be displayed.

EXPO-2017 will offer other technological innovations, such as an opportunity to book a parking space through a web application.

Besides the main part, EXPO-2017 will offer entertainment, such as concerts, shows, restaurants, etc.

For more information about EXPO-2017, go to