12 Jul 2013 11:19

As one of the few metropolis built in the 21st century, Astana progressed tremendously since its establishment in 1998, and is among the world’s youngest capitals which owned many unique buildings around the city.

Congratulating the people of Kazakhstan on the 15th anniversary of Astana Day, Nazarbayev said: "The capital has been our crucial idea to transform the country. Fifteen years ago, the whole country was counting for new stage and now it is being called the great era of Astana."

In his speech, which was translated by one Makhambet Yensegenov to Bernama, the president noted that it was difficult to achieve independence but the country managed to do it. Now, it has become strong in terms of economic and social, with powerful inputs of its various ethnicity.

Located in central Kazakhstan on the Ishim River, the city today occupies 71,000 hectares with more than 785,000 people, including Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Jews, Belarusians, Georgians, Moldavians, Tajiks and Uzbeks.

Kazakhstan decided to move its capital from Almaty to Astana in 1997 due to several factors, among others, including socio-economic indexes, climate, landscape, natural environment and transport infrastructure.