Astana: Symbol of Kazakhstan

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Astana, being a dynamically developing capital is a unifying idea for citizens of the country that bursts the progress of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstani capital Astana (from Kazakh «capital city») is younger than Kazakh state. In spite of it the popularity of modern city in creasing day to day. The history of new administrative centre of the  Republic begins from 1997 three years after the country’s leader Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to move governmental hub from Almaty, situated on foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range in the South.
The time has shown that President Nursultan Nazarbayev had taken a wise decision that contributed a lot to the further prosperity of independent Kazakhstan. Undoubtedly, Head of the Nation is a key driver for transformation of Astana into dynamically developed Megapolis. Once, President of Russia Dmitriy Med-vedev said that Nazarbayev «has given this city not only his work but also his soul»...

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Within less than 15-years period Astana has been changed hugely, from then-provincial town to «the capital from zero» – modern political and economical node of Kazakhstan that blends Western architecture and features of the true East. As it is commonly recognized, Astana be-came the Central Asia's pre-eminent city. Today, the young capital is growing rapidly as the key administrative and a major business centre of Kazakhstan. Its population has tripled since the move, to over 700 thousand and is estimated to top one million in close future. Astana has experienced a construction boom on a grand scale, and construction continues apace. It is interesting that currently only 20-30% of the Astana’s construction plan, over a total city area of 274 square miles is developed – many major projects are due to be fnished by 2012-20.
Prominent architects such as Lord Foster, Kisho Kurokawa and other elaborated the new vision of city, interweaving of megapolis and nature that helped to create a marvel and unique image of Astana distinguishing it from all other capitals worldwide.
The city inspires wonder and is able to charm everybody at frst glance. Astana is represented by grandiose, glistening new buildings that dominate the skyline for miles around. Some of them are real mas-terpieces of art, for instance, 62-metre-high silver pyramid named as Palace of Peace and Reconciliation where Congress for Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions is regularly held, Khan Shatyr megamall – the highest tent on Earth, and the splendid Presidential Palace.
It is also a magnet for investments consolidating its positions as leading business and infrastructure center of Kazakhstan. By the way, the share of Astana in Kazakhstan’s GDP ($150 billion) increased from 1.5% to almost 10%, and industrial output grew more that sevenfold in just a decade. It is important that the Special economic zone - «Astana New City» with the Industrial park has been established that propose a whole range of incentives for business devel-opment. It attracted more than 250 companies that totally invested $10 billion, includ-ing $4 billion of foreign investments. Such world-known companies, as General Electric, Alstom, Talgo and other, have production assets there. Within the following fve years the city will implement 11 large-scaled investment projects worth $5 billion. Moreover, Astana becomes step-by-step a leading innovation hub of Kazakhstan, that will burst the industrial and innovative development of the Republic as a whole – the long-term strategic objective for the nation. To fully use the innovative opportunities of the capital, «Astana Innovations» JSC has been established that will coordinate efforts in that direction. But a real breakthrough is a creation of Nazarbayev University, opened as a result of the personal initiative of the President of Kazakhstan. It is the leading research, educational and innovative center of the country, positioned to become the national brand, and it has real ambitions to be among top universities of the world in a close future.
Astana strengthens its infuence in international activity and is well known as a host place for important international events, including major congresses and forums. For instance, Congress for Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions, SCO summits and others regularly take place there. Exactly in Kazakhstani capital, OSCE Summit under Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship was successfully held – one of the most important international meetings devoted to the matters of strengthening mutual coopera-tion, trust and global security. The event - really historic. Representatives of 56 nations have visited Kazakh land in order to participate in OSCE discussions. As it generally known there were no any Orga-nization’s conferences over last decade. Ka-zakhstan’s Chairmanship contributed a new breath to existence and policy of the OSCE.
Its role in preventing of wars and resolving of conficts, supporting of the global security was restored.

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Now Astana is bidding to host the Expo-2017 international exhibition. This Expo should be seen as an ideal opportunity to foster economic dialogue with the entire international community concerning sustainable development and business cooperation. Moreover Astana has made a tremendous breakthrough as an international sport center, having created a modern and high-tech infrastructure for football, ice hockey, cycling and other sports… It was a main venue for 7th Asian Winter Games that took place in Kazakhstan in the beginning of 2011, the name of the Megapolis is also a symbol of «Astana» cycling team that achieved a lot of achievements in international pro-competitions such as Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, etc.
Without doubts, the future is bright for As-tana, and it will continue to develop further, being a real evidence of success of independent Kazakhstan.

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