159th General Assembly: Expo updates and bid announcement

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 159th General Assembly in Paris on 15 June 2016. Delegates representing the 169 Member States of the BIE attended the meeting. Reports were submitted by the Presidents of the four BIE committees (Executive, Administration & Budget, Rules, Information & Communication), and progress reports on current and upcoming Expos were presented to the General Assembly.

A special delegation from the Republic of Poland, led by Piotr Gliński, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage, also attended the General Assembly.

Mr. Gliński personally handed a letter of candidature to the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, containing Poland’s bid to organise the Specialised Expo 2022 in the city of Łódź. He declared to the General Assembly that “the Republic of Poland intends to join this cluster of Expo organisers.” The mayor of Łódź, Hanna Zdanowska, also informed the General Assembly that the Expo project is a unique opportunity for the city.

The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, receiving the letter of candidature from Poland

The bidding process for the Specialised Expo 2022/23 has now started, and other interested host countries have until 15 December 2016 to submit their own bids. The General Assembly also heard about the preparations for the next Specialised Expo, which will take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in 2017. Construction work on the site is set to be complete by November 2016, and Expo Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev stated that organisers are in the final stages of confirming international participation.

A planning update of Expo 2020 Dubai was delivered by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State of the UAE for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau. In her first General Assembly address since Expo 2020 was formally registered in November 2015, Reem Al Hashimy presented the Masterplan and developed on the Expo’s themes and subthemes.

The General Assembly was also informed about the activities and plans of current and upcoming horticultural Expos: Expo 2016 Antalya and Expo 2019 Beijing. The delegation from Antalya announced that the Expo site had welcomed 437,939 visitors and sold over 1.7 million tickets as of 8 June 2016. Meanwhile, the Chinese delegation announced that invitations for international participants will soon be launched via diplomatic channels.

The organisers of the XX1 Triennale di Milano, which opened on 1 April 2016, told the General Assembly that the international exhibition, which is taking place in 19 different venues across Milan, had received 258,742 visitors as of 31 May.

More news to follow on all presentations made at the 159th General Assembly.