The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 160th General Assembly in Paris on 23 November 2016. Delegates of the BIE’s 169 Member States gathered to hear presentations from the four BIE committees, Expo reports (relating to World Expo 2020 Dubai, Specialised Expo 2017 Astana, Horticultural Expo 2016 Antalya, Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing and the XXI Triennale di Milano), as well as bid projects from candidate countries. Additionally, the World Expo Museum made a presentation as it prepares to open to the public next year.
Reports on the BIE’s activities in 2016 were presented to the General Assembly by the Presidents of the Administration and Budget Committee, the Executive Committee and the Rules Committee, and by the Vice President of the Information and Communication Committee. Delegates also approved the adoption of special regulations relating to Expo 2017 Astana and Expo 2019 Beijing.
Simon Clegg, the Chief Operating Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, updated delegates on the progress of the next World Expo and reaffirmed the objective of having one pavilion for each participating country. Mr. Clegg noted that construction and preparation work on the Expo site is now well underway, adding “we are building swiftly and comprehensively, dedicated to staying on track to ensure participants have generous time to prepare properly.”
With regard to World Expo 2025, the General Assembly was the first opportunity for France to present its vision for the Expo after it submitted its letter of candidature the day before. Pascal Lamy, the Interministerial Delegate for the French World Expo bid, declared that all of France is “united behind a project that links us from a past we know as glorious and a future that we want to be fruitful.”
Following Mr. Lamy’s declaration, the delegate of Japan, Hiwoshi Kawamura, informed the General Assembly that the Government of Japan is considering a bid for World Expo 2025 in Osaka.
The President of the General Assembly, Steen Christensen, reminded delegates that following France’s bid, the candidature phase for World Expo 2025 will remain open until 22 May 2017.
Delegates were informed about the preparations for Expo 2017 Astana, with the General Assembly being the last presentation by organisers before the Expo opens next June. Akhmetzhan Yessimov, the President of Expo 2017 Astana National Company, declared that construction of the site is almost finished and encouraged international participants to start working on their pavilions.
Regarding the Specialised Expo due to be held in 2022 or 2023, delegates were presented with Poland’s bid to organise Specialised Expo 2022 in Łódź. Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, who in June 2016 announced the bid to the General Assembly, returned to Paris to elaborate on the Expo project and its theme “City Re:Invented”.
The candidature phase for Specialised Expo 2022/23 will end on 15 December 2016, after which no other country will be able to submit a bid. Currently, Poland is the only country on the candidate list.
The General Assembly was also presented with a report on Horticultural Expo 2016 Antalya, which attracted 4.7 million visitors before closing on 30 October.
Organisers of Expo 2019 Beijing – the next International Horticultural Exhibition – gave an update of the progress that is being made, announcing that construction of site will start in earnest next year.
Triennale di Milano
Lorenza Cristina Bravetta of the Triennale di Milano Foundation reported on the XX1T Triennale di Milano, which came to a close on 12 September 2016. Ms Bravetta announced that a 22nd edition of the exhibition is already being planned for 2019.
World Expo Museum
A delegation from the World Expo Museum in Shanghai presented the General Assembly with an update of the project. Deputy Director Zhenyu Yu announced that construction will be completed in December and that the Museum is scheduled to open to the public on 1 May 2017. The Museum’s exhibitions are currently being prepared, with over 1,200 objects already obtained from Expos prior to 2010.