(By Dr Shahid Qureshi ):-
H.E. Erlan Idrissov, non-resident Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Iceland, visited Reykjavik, where he took part in state events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Icelandic independence.
As part of the celebrations, the Kazakh diplomat held a meeting with the Icelandic President Gudni Johannesson, giving him warm congratulations on behalf of the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
In addition, Mr. Idrissov met with Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, to discuss potential co-operation in trade and investment, as well as in green energy, tourism, education and innovation.
The Kazakh Ambassador told the Foreign Minister about the large-scale economic and political reforms taking place as part of Kazakhstan’s modernisation programme. They also discussed Astana’s new International Financial Centre, as well as the Green Technologies Centre created on the basis of EXPO 2017.
One of the key topics of the talks was Iceland’s investment in renewable energy sources, and the opportunities for cooperation in the development of geothermal energy sources in Kazakhstan.
During his visit, Mr. Idrissov also held talks with Jon Asbergsson, the Managing Director of Promote Iceland, which is responsible for investment, international trade, and tourism. The pair discussed Iceland’s tourism boom, which saw the country increase the number of foreign visitors by more than five times over the past eight years.
With the World Cup currently underway in Russia, an important topic for discussion was the experience of Iceland in the promotion of football. Andri Marteinsson, a former footballer and adviser at Promote Iceland, told Mr. Idrissov about his experience in the development of youth football, having managed, in just 15 years, to grow a generation of athletes who regularly and successfully perform in the final stages of international tournaments.
Following the meeting, an agreement was reached to continue cooperation with Promote Iceland. The company’s experience may potentially be utilised in the development of tourism and football in Kazakhstan.