“In economic terms, we are making the country and our economy fit for the future and global markets through research and innovation. And we are protecting the environment and the climate by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels by encouraging economical and efficient technologies”, explained the president.
The interplay between economic and environmental considerations is becoming increasingly important. Technological developments and political decisions are triggering fundamental changes in the energy sector. The Expo has adopted a very timely focus.
Ms Leuthard also paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazerbayev. The discussion offered an opportunity to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and also covered the development of bilateral political and economic cooperation, and the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.
Switzerland and Kazakhstan work closely together in the Bretton Woods institutions; Kazakhstan has been a member of the Swiss constituency in the IMF and World Bank since 2010. Kazakhstan is also Switzerland’s most important trading partner in Central Asia.
On her tour of the Expo, she visited Kazakhstan’s pavilion accompanied by a Kazakh delegation, followed by the Swiss ‘Flower Power’ pavilion. The pavilion features four houses with interactive displays dedicated to the themes of energy efficiency, renewable energies and global water management. Switzerland’s research sector also has a platform in the shape of the ‘swissnex Lab’.
The aim is to promote exchanges between players in Kazakhstan and Switzerland through scientific events, workshops and temporary exhibitions presented by universities, spin-offs and industry partners. Following a keynote speech given by President Leuthard, Swiss actors from the fields of business and research presented their contributions to the theme of the Expo.
Kazakhstan was the third and final stop on a tour especially dedicated to the issues of climate change and energy policy. The president began the week in Copenhagen where she held talks with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, before travelling to Greenland, where she was briefed on the impact of climate change in the Arctic.
Address for enquiries:
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), Press and Information service, Kochergasse 6, 3003 Bern, +41 79 663 19 41