Kazakhstan citizens have become more economically active. Astana is the leader in development of small and medium-sized businesses. The number of small and medium-sized enterprises grew by 10% in Kazakhstan, and by almost 60% in Astana. The highest growth rates are observed in the tourism industry. Experts say that EXPO 2017 became one of the factors that fostered the business activity.

MARAT ALMAGANBETOV, STAFF, ASTANA CONVENTION BUREAU:

60% of local hotels are full. It is a considerable growth compared to last year’s 28%. The demand for tour services, translation and audio guide services has grown twofold. Our train stations and airports work to 60% of maximum design capacity

It is the first visit to Astana for Doctor Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir. He came from Malaysia as a member of the delegation of businessmen, scientists and politicians. Such large-scale projects as the holding of the international exhibition make the country recognizable. The guest from South-East Asia enjoyed good service.

MOHD SHAHRUL MOHD NADZIR, STAFF, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MALAYSIA:

- I found the city is very nice, very beautiful, and the people are also very nice. And you have different mix of people, some look like Asian.

Catering services are being improved as well. 30 additional catering companies have been opened in Astana ahead of EXPO 2017, including high-end restaurants, middle-class brasseries, and fast food places.

RASHID BAIBULATOV, RESTAURATEUR:

- There weren’t any obstacles in the competition. We, a foreign company, were selected by EXPO organizers. All applicants had a chance to win.

135,000 small companies are registered in Kazakhstan, 10% higher than last year.

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