Continuing the tradition of friendship and cooperation

Moscow Days took place in Astana on August 23-26. A Moscow government delegation, headed by Minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin, visited the capital of Kazakhstan to participate in the events.

On opening day, there was a meeting between the head of the Moscow delegation and the mayor of Astana. “Astana and Moscow are sister cities. The two capitals share centuries of history and multifaceted, mutually beneficial cooperation of the two governments in the present stage of development,” the mayor of Astana Asset Issekeshev said during the meeting.

The head of the Moscow delegation in turn talked about the events that are scheduled to take place in the capital of Kazakhstan. These events include a business forum, a Moscow business session at EXPO-2017, seminars on supporting the Russian language in Kazakhstan, the opening of a photo exhibition, a visit to the Astana spiritual and cultural center named after the saints Kirill and Mefodiy, and various athletic and cultural events.

The Moscow-Astana business cooperation forum was an important part of Moscow Days.  “It is very important for us to continue the traditions of friendship and cooperation that have existed between our countries for a quarter of a century. That’s when Russia and Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations. Today this relationship is defined by a high level of trust,” Sergey Cheremin said during the opening of the plenary session.

The minister noted that, in spite of its relatively young age, Astana has become a recognized center in the Eurasian space. It hosts different forums, congresses, and other events of international significance, including one of the most prestigious exhibitions in the world - EXPO-2017, which opened here in June.

“Astana plays an increasingly more important role in the country’s economy. In terms of investment contribution volumes, it accounts for 10% of attracted investments. This speaks to the appealing investment conditions that have been established here,” the minister said.

The trade turnover between companies registered in Moscow and Kazakhstani partners exceeded $2.6 million in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, trade turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan increased by 1.6 times compared to the same period in 2016, amounting to $795.5 million. The same trend applies to the trade and economic relations between Moscow and Kazakhstani partners. “As of today there over 50 enterprises with Kazakhstani capital registered in Moscow, which puts Kazakhstan in 27th place among foreign partners. Russian entrepreneurs also have a growing interest in investing in Astana and Kazakhstan generally,” the minister said.

One of the key events that took place in Astana within the scope of Moscow Days was the Moscow delegation’s visit to the international exhibition EXPO-2017, where the Russian pavilion hosted the business session “Modern Technologies for Smart Megacities.”

“With the arrival of a new team headed by Sergey Sobyanin in 2010, the Moscow government made a decision to radically change the city’s development strategy,” the head of the Moscow delegation, Minister of the Moscow Government and head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin said in his speech during the session. “Moscow is rapidly transforming into a smart city. If you compare the informational services that we now also have in many other cities, you will see that Moscow is one of the global leaders in this sphere,” he added. According to the minister, social networks and internet portals have become an integral part of urban management. Not so long ago, it was hard to imagine that you could Tweet at the mayor or his deputies and let them know what you’re unhappy with. Moreover, city residents can crowdsource just about any issue and vote on the “Active Citizen” website in favor of or against decisions made by the city administration.

“Today, Moscow has become a place that is appealing for business, attractive to visitors, and comfortable to live in,” the minister concluded. He noted that the Russian capital is ready to share experience with their partners.

“Moscow’s experience is valuable for us,” head of the Astana Office for Investment and Development Alisher Abdykadyrov said, “Because we want to make our young city even more comfortable for living and doing business. Right now the capital’s administration has an ambitious task - to transform Astana into a smart city. We are moving toward this goal. Creating a smart city is not a goal in itself. We don’t need technology for the sake of technology. Our main goal is to make the metropolis safer, more comfortable for Astana’s guests and residents.”

After completing the business session, the participants visited the Russian pavilion at EXPO-2017. The theme of the current international exhibition in Astana is “Energy of the Future.” Over 100 countries and international organizations are present at the exhibition to demonstrate their achievements in the sphere of renewable energy sources and their advantages: cleanliness, low operation costs and environmental friendliness.



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