During the 160th session of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 23 November, France had the opportunity to present its bid concept for World Expo 2025. The presentation came one day after French President François Hollande submitted a letter of candidature to the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, proposing Greater Paris as the host of Expo 2025.
The French delegation at the General Assembly was led by Pascal Lamy, the Interministerial Delegate for the Expo bid. Mr. Lamy was accompanied by his deputy, Bertrand Boucault, by Jean-Christophe Fromantin, the President of the ‘ExpoFrance 2025’ association, and by representatives of the city of Paris, the Greater Paris metropole and the Île-de-France region.
In his address to delegates, Mr. Lamy reiterated President Hollande’s assertion in the letter of candidature that the project enjoys national support, noting that over 100,000 citizens have expressed their support for the Expo bid. Mr. Lamy stated that France is “united in a project that links us from a past we know as glorious and a future that we want to be fruitful.” He added that France’s bid for World Expo 2025 draws on the history of Expos in the country, which continue to have a legacy to this day. The history of these Expos is linked to the project for 2025 as they share the same values of progress, science, technique and knowledge.
Regarding the proposed theme of the Expo, “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for our Planet”, Mr. Lamy explained that World Expos are about looking toward the future and ensuring that progress and development are used to improve the human condition. This needs to be achieved not only by sharing knowledge that has been acquired through experience, but also by preserving the planet for future generations.
Mr. Lamy assured delegates that the technical aspects of the project will be worked on over the coming months before the bid dossier is submitted in 2017. He added that he has travelled to Shanghai (the host of Expo 2010) and Milan (the host of Expo 2015) to learn from their experience in selecting a site and building a successful Expo project. In terms of existing and planned infrastructure, Mr. Lamy emphasised the capacity of France and the Paris region to host major events and welcome large numbers of visitors.
The candidate list to host World Expo 2025 will remain open until 22 May 2017, during which time any other country wishing to organise the Expo may submit its letter of candidature.