France officially withdraws bid to organise World Expo 2025

The Government of France has formally notified the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) that it is withdrawing its bid to host World Expo 2025 in Greater Paris.

In a letter dated 4 February, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe informed BIE Secretary General Vicente G. Loscertales of the Government’s decision to not proceed with the candidature process, stating: “the economic model proposed in the project does not offer the necessary guarantees to rule out any financial risk for the French taxpayer.”

The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales indicated: “the BIE takes note of the French Government’s decision to withdraw its World Expo bid. As the candidature process moves into the next phase, three candidates remain in the running for World Expo 2025: Japan (Osaka), Russia (Ekaterinburg) and Azerbaijan (Baku).”

The host country will be elected by the 170 Member States of the BIE during the 164th General Assembly of the Organisation in November 2018.

A World in Common: BIE publishes sustainability-themed Bulletin 2017

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has published the 2017 edition of its annual Bulletin, this year entitled “Sustainable Innovation and Legacies in Expos of the 21st Century: A World in Common”.

The BIE Bulletin is an annual publication focusing on a specific theme or issue arising from Expos, featuring articles written by internationally renowned experts. The 2017 edition includes contributions from key figures in the organisation of 21st century Expos as well as from leading urban planners and architects, illustrating the many ways in which Expos contribute to sustainability and innovation.

Drawing on real examples from recent Expos and Expo 2020 Dubai – the next World Expo – the Bulletin offers an analysis of sustainability cultivated at Expos through both concrete innovations and intangible legacies. Insightful and demonstrative case studies are highlighted, ranging from urban planning to carbon neutral transport options, recycling systems and eco-friendly architecture. The Bulletin also details the many ways in which Expos leave a lasting intellectual legacy through forums, international agreements and the generation of innovative policies and heightened public engagement.

The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales highlighted: “the articles featured in the Bulletin attest to the role played by Expos as forward-looking enterprises that reflect the concerns of their time and anticipate challenges for a sustainable future. By fostering innovation and the exchange of ideas, Expos create, showcase and share sustainable best practices and solutions, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”

The first part of the Bulletin – “Sustainable Innovation at World Expos” features articles by architect and urban planner Professor Joan Busquets, architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, former Expo 2015 Milan Sustainability Manager Gloria Zavatta, former Expo 2005 Aichi Secretary General Toshio Nakamura, and architects Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Andrew Whalley.

The second part focuses on intangible and sustainable legacies, featuring contributions by H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, Dr. Cheng Jian of the Shanghai Coordination Center of the World Cities Day, Ambassador Eduardo Lopez Busquets, former Deputy Commissioner of Expo 2008 Zaragoza, and Shohei Fukui, former Chief Producer at Expo 2005 Aichi.

Click here to view an online version of the 2017 Bulletin.

BIE conducts working visit to Azerbaijan to discuss Expo 2025 bid

The Deputy Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri Kerkentzes, is carrying out a working visit to Azerbaijan to discuss the bid project to organise World Expo 2025 in Baku.

The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes (R), with the First Vice President of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva (L) 

The purpose of the visit is for authorities in Azerbaijan to build on their bid project and to prepare for the Enquiry Mission, a formal visit of a BIE delegation in early 2018. Representatives of the Expo 2025 Baku’s Bid Committee took this opportunity to present key aspects of the bid dossier, which was submitted to the BIE in September 2017.

In Baku, Mr. Kerkentzes discussed the Expo project with the First Vice President of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva. He also held meetings with the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Baku Expo 2025 Bid Committee, Samir Sharifov, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov, and the whole Expo 2025 Baku Task Force, led by Elchin Amirbayov, chief delegate of Azerbaijan to the BIE.

This preliminary visit comes ahead of the BIE Enquiry Mission, which will include the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, and which will be led by the Chairman of the BIE’s Executive Committee, Jai-chul Choi. Members of the Enquiry Mission will assess the feasibility and viability of the Expo project, a necessary step for the candidature to go further in the selection process.

Azerbaijan is one of four countries seeking to host World Expo 2025, alongside France (Greater Paris), Japan (Osaka), Russia (Ekaterinburg). Member States of the BIE will elect the host country during the 164th General Assembly in November 2018.

 

Four World Expo 2025 visions offered to delegates

Japan (Osaka), Russia (Ekaterinburg), Azerbaijan (Baku) and France (Greater Paris) each presented a more detailed idea of their projects for World Expo 2025 during the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 15 November.

These presentations to delegates of BIE Member States were the first ones since candidates submitted their bid dossiers, detailing the full Expo project, in late September 2017. In early 2018, BIE Enquiry Missions will be carried out in each candidate country to assess each bid individually. Candidates will have the chance to present again to delegates in June 2018 and in November 2018, when the final vote will take place during the BIE’s 164th General Assembly.

Osaka, Japan

Japan’s bid was presented by Chieko Fujita, of POLY-GLU social business, Rwandan entrepreneur and Osaka resident Joachim Rutayisire, and by the mayor of Osaka, Hirofumi Yoshimura.

 

Via a video, a glimpse of the futuristic site on Yumeshima Island that is proposed for Expo 2025 Osaka was given to delegates. A video message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also shown to express his belief in the project and emphasise the role that Japanese technology and expertise can play in contributing to global development.

Chieko Fujita, of POLY-GLU social business

Building up on the theme, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, Ms. Fujita emphasised its potential in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, telling delegates about the role of cooperation and co-creation in improving lives across the world.

Mr. Rutayisire then told delegates that the “Osaka-Kansai region is the best place to work together to make a better future, respecting individual values and cultures” and that thanks to the skills and technologies he has learnt in Osaka, he will be promoting development in his home country, Rwanda.

Ekaterinburg, Russia

Four speakers presented delegates with Russia’s Expo 2025 bid: journalist Vladimir Pozner, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, the founder of the Russian National Ballet School, Ilze Liepa, and the head of the Bid Committee, Svetlana Sagaydak.

 

Highlighting the key features of Ekaterinburg, a “modern, dynamic city” that is one of Russia’s cultural and educational hubs, Mr. Manturov emphasised the capacity of the city to organise an event such as a World Expo.

Head of the Expo 2025 Ekaterinburg Bid Committee, Svetlana Sagaydak 

Ekaterinburg “dreams about hosting the Expo”, added Ms. Liepa, while Mr. Pozner stated that hosting an Expo was “a matter of national pride” for Russia.

With a site that would be a “prototype of a future world”, Expo 2025 in Ekaterinburg would showcase technologies that serve “the only goal, the happiness of humankind.” Highlighting the proposed theme, “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”, Ms. Sagaydak drew delegates’ attention to the importance of technology as the basis for innovation, and in uniting and simplifying lives, rather than complicating them.

Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s Expo bid was presented by a delegation including the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Baku Expo 2025 Bid Committee, Samir Sharifov, the head of International Relations of the Bid Committee, Dr. Maryam Garfarzada, and the head of the Expo 2025 Baku Task Force, Elchin Amirbayov.

Delegates were informed about Azerbaijan’s vision for the Expo 2025 site, which would be set between two growing suburbs of Baku. The eight-pointed start shaped area “will be transformed into a major extension of the city with a fully integrated transport infrastructure”, according to Mr. Amirbayov.

The Head of International Relations of the Bid Committee, Dr. Maryam Garfarzada

With its theme, “Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future”, focus would be put on the people who drive economies, communities and creativity, according to Dr. Garfarzada, who added that it is essential to “look beyond technology.” Through its three subthemes – Talent, Vitality and Achievement – the Expo would aim to answer questions relating to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the 2030 deadline approaches. 

Expo 2025 Baku would besides “capture the diversity of humanity and give all nations the opportunity to participate”, added Mr. Sharifov, who stressed the fact that the bid project enjoys the support of the civil society, the business community, and the Government.

Greater Paris, France

France’s bid project for Expo 2025 was presented by a group of “youth ambassadors” from across the world and by Cédric Villani, a mathematician and French MP.

Drawing on the global interest of France’s Expo bid, young speakers from countries including Morocco, Colombia, the Philippines and Italy told delegates about why they are backing France’s bid, with a notable emphasis on the role given to younger people to help create the future.

Expo 2025 Grand Paris - youth ambassadors 

France’s vision for the Expo was demonstrated through a video presenting the site with a message that hospitality would be the Expo’s foremost value, driven by the proposed theme “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for our Planet.” This was further developed by Mr. Villani, who declared that the choice of the site in Saclay, which he represents, reflects the construction of a project “which will be both about the knowledge-based emergence of the future, and about the preservation of our fragile planet.” Mr. Villani added that these two goals should help each other, as “knowledge and new technologies will be used…to help the preservation of the planet.” 

BIE carries out working visit to Japan to discuss Expo 2025 bid

The Deputy Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri Kerkentzes, is conducting a working visit to Japan to discuss the bid project to organise World Expo 2025 in Osaka.

The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe 

The purpose of the visit is for national and local authorities in Japan to build on their bid project and to prepare for the Enquiry Mission, a formal visit of a BIE delegation in early 2018. Representatives of the Expo bid committee are taking this opportunity to present key aspects of the bid dossier, which was submitted to the BIE in September 2017.

In Tokyo on 4-5 December, Mr. Kerkentzes held meetings with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko. He was also received by representatives of Diet Members supporting Japan’s Expo bid, and by the Chairman of the 2025 Japan World Expo Committee, Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara.

Rendering of the proposed site of Expo 2025 Osaka

On 6 December, Mr. Kerkentzes will travel to Kyoto, where he will visit the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, before going to Osaka, where he will be received by Ichiro Matsui, the Governor of Osaka Prefecture, and by Hirofumi Yoshimura, the Mayor of Osaka. The visit will also include a tour of Yumeshima Island, the proposed site of Expo 2025 Osaka, as well as the Knowledge Capital business centre.

This preliminary visit comes ahead of the BIE Enquiry Mission, which will include the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, and which will be led by the Chairman of the BIE’s Executive Committee, Jai-chul Choi. Members of the Enquiry Mission will assess the feasibility and viability of the Expo project, a necessary step for the candidature to go further in the selection process.

Japan is one of four countries seeking to host World Expo 2025, alongside France (Greater Paris), Russia (Ekaterinburg), and Azerbaijan (Baku). Member States of the BIE will elect the host country during the 164th General Assembly in November 2018.

Fourth International Conference held to discuss bid for World Expo 2030 in Busan

The city of Busan, in the Republic of Korea, held today, 28 November, a Fourth International Conference on a project to bid for the organisation of World Expo 2030. The conference gathers 300 experts from across the country and from further afield with the aim of further developing the potential Expo bid.

Port of Busan 

The port city has been planning a bid since 2015, when the “Citizens Committee for the World Expo” was established. According to the rules of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the earliest a country can submit a bid for a World Expo is nine years before the proposed opening date, meaning that the candidature process will not begin before 2021. Once a country submits one bid, other countries have six months to file their own candidature with the BIE.

According to the mayor of the city of Busan, Suh Byung-soo, organising World Expo 2030 can “provide a breakthrough in the future development of Busan”, with the potential to boost the economy by 40 trillion won (USD 45 billion) and to generate 540,000 jobs.

 

The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, attended the conference and made an opening speech about the challenges and opportunities of mounting a successful Expo project. “If the will and the vision are there, it is a journey that I would strongly recommend,” Mr. Kerkentzes told the audience, adding that: “taking into the consideration the tremendous success of the Republic of Korea in hosting two past Expos, I am very pleased and excited by the possibility of having a candidature from the city of Busan for World Expo 2030.”

The Republic of Korea has successfully hosted two Specialised Expos – Expo 1993 Daejeon and Expo 2012 Yeosu – but it has never hosted a World Expo.

Busan is the country’s second largest city and is the world’s sixth busiest port by container volume. The city has successfully hosted numerous mega events including the 2002 Asian Games and APEC 2005 Korea, and is home to the annual Busan International Film Festival.

Asia has already been home to two World Expos – Expo 1970 Osaka and Expo 2010 Shanghai – and the next World Expo will be held in Dubai in 2020. Four countries – France, Japan, Russia and Azerbaijan - are currently bidding to host World Expo 2025.

Triennale di Milano sets the tone for 2019 edition

The theme of the 22nd edition of the Triennale di Milano was presented to delegates of Member States at the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 15 November.

Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano and Paola Antonelli, the General Curator of the 22nd Triennale di Milano 

“Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival” will be the theme of the next edition of the Triennale, which will take place between 1 March and 1 September 2019, according to Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano. Mr. Cancellato informed delegates that in a recent presentation to experts and consular representatives in Milan, the concept of the 22nd edition was well received, with a high degree of interest and curiosity for the theme. 

The Director General also indicated that the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs has requested formal recognition by the BIE, and that the necessary procedures will be done so that the 2019 edition of the Triennale di Milano is recognised by the BIE General Assembly next year.

 Paola Antonelli, the General Curator of the 22nd Triennale di Milano 

Following on from an initial presentation at the 161st General Assembly, the General Curator of the 22nd Triennale di Milano, Paola Antonelli, expanded on the theme and concept of the next edition. Ms Antonelli, who is Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), stated that the exhibition will seek a new balance between humans and nature, and particularly to highlight design approaches that can “replenish our exchange with the natural context we were born in.” 

By turning its attention to “human survival”, the next edition of the Triennale will promote creativity in the monitoring and reparation of humanity’s relationship with nature, according to Ms Antonelli. In doing so, the exhibitions of the Triennale will “gather worthy case studies and jumpstart new ones.” In concrete terms, design approaches to be showcased will include synthetic biology and biodesign, co-creation, adaptive reuse, and self-assembly, among others.

150 countries confirmed for World Expo 2020 Dubai

Preparations for the next World Expo are “solidly on track”, according to Manal AlBayat, Senior Vice-President of Expo 2020 Dubai, who presented a progress report to the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 15 November 2017.

Manal AlBayat, Senior Vice-President of Expo 2020 Dubai 

Coming less than one month after the second International Participants’ Meeting, which gathered over 500 delegates from 180 countries, Ms AlBayat presented delegates with an overview of the Expo’s progress and activities. In addition to the continued development of the Expo site and elaboration of “immersive content”, Expo 2020 Dubai is “continuing to build awareness and excitement both at home and internationally.”

More than 150 countries have already confirmed their participation in the next World Expo, according to Ms. AlBayat, who added that Organisers are looking forward to receiving further commitments. She informed delegates that the first participating countries are expected to be on the ground by the time of the next General Assembly, in mid-2018.

Regarding Expo 2020 Dubai’s engagement programmes, delegates heard that promotional road shows have reached more than 24,000 students in the past year. The Expo Live programme is already having an impact, with 45 applicants from 30 countries having already received grants as ‘Expo Live Global Innovators’. In addition, Expo 2020’s procurement activities are gaining pace, with over 18,000 companies from 131 countries having signed up to work with Expo Organisers.

The economic, social, reputational and physical legacy of Expo 2020 “has been at the forefront of our planning from the very earliest stages”, according to Ms. AlBayat, who presented the General Assembly with post-Expo plans in the form of District 2020. This neighbourhood, which will be a place to “live, work and play”, will exemplify the new definition of the urban experience.

“Great strides” being made ahead of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing

The Organisers of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing presented a progress report to the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which took place on 14-15 November 2017 in Paris. 

Delegates of BIE Member States were presented with an extensive progress report on the preparation work for the next Horticultural Expo, including updates on participation and further details on the key features of the Expo site.

Wang Jinzhen, the Commissioner General of Expo 2019 

After presenting a film demonstrating the progress made on the Expo site, Wang Jinzhen, the Commissioner General of Expo 2019, told delegates that “great strides” have been made in preparations for the Expo. Mr. Wang announced that nearly 70 countries and international organisations have already confirmed participation in Expo 2019 Beijing, and encouraged delegates of other countries to confirm in the near future.

The Vice-Mayor of Beijing, Lu Yan 

Representing the host city, the Vice-Mayor of Beijing, Lu Yan, emphasised the importance of Expo 2019 to his city and to China. He told delegates that the “Live Green, Live Better” theme will demonstrate China’s efforts “to strengthen the development of an ecological civilization and build green industry.” In doing so, the Expo will be a platform for participants to share horticultural experiences and to promote cultural exchange.

 Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association, Peng Hongming 

The Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association, Peng Hongming, presented delegates with further details about the development of the Expo site, international promotion of the event, and the planned participation of more than 30 Chinese provinces, regions and cities. Ms. Peng indicated that more than half of landscape engineering and infrastructure works are completed, and that construction is underway on the China Pavilion, the International Pavilion, and the Life Experience Pavilion.

Regarding the exhibits, Ms. Peng announced plans to feature collections of gardens from innovative global designers, as well as practical demonstrations that integrate the latest horticultural technologies. As such, the next Horticultural Expo will be an “exceptional, splendid and memorable feast of horticulture.”

Expo 2017 Astana: “a lively page in the history of our country”

Two months after closing its gates to the public, representatives of Expo 2017 Astana addressed the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to give a report of the Expo and the impact it has had on Kazakhstan.

The Chairman of the Astana Expo 2017 National Company, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, declared that “Expo 2017 has become a lively page in the history of our country.” He informed delegates that 3.97 million visitors attended the Expo during its three-month run, surpassing the expected number of 2 million. This success is matched by other key indicators: Kazakhstan’s GDP increased by 4.3% in the first nine months of 2017, while the number of tourist visits to Astana increased 1.5 times compared to the same period in the previous year.

Regarding the legacy of Expo 2017 Astana, Mr. Yessimov indicated that the city already benefits from the new airport terminal and railway station that opened in the run-up to the Expo. The Expo site itself is already transitioning to the post-Expo phase, with the iconic Nur Alem sphere – home of the Kazakhstan Pavilion and Museum of Future Energy – having reopened to the public on 11 November, alongside the Best Practices Area, the two Thematic Pavilions and the Art Centre.

 

In his presentation, Expo Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev thanked the BIE and international participants for the success of the Expo. Delegates heard that as a result of the Expo, a visa-free travel regime has been introduced for 62 countries, as well as the launch of direct flights to four new countries.

Mr. Zhoshybayev also pointed to the major international meetings that took place within the framework of the Expo, including the first summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on science and technology, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and the “Women for Energy of the Future” forum.

D. Kerkentzes accepts the Order of Friendship from A. Yessimov on behalf of Secretary General Vicente G. Loscertales 

On the occasion of the General Assembly, Mr. Yessimov presented Vicente G. Loscertales, Secretary General of the BIE, with the Order of Friendship of Kazakhstan on behalf of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The award – a Dostyk Order of the 2nd degree – was accepted on Mr. Loscertales’ behalf by Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General.