The first International Planning Meeting (IPM) for the next Horticultural Expo took place today in Beijing, 10 months before the city opens the gates to Expo 2019. The meeting gathered representatives from 87 countries taking part in the Expo, which will be held under the theme “Live Green, Live Better” between 29 April and 7 October 2019.
The meeting allowed the host country, China, to present its plans, discuss the progress of the Expo’s organisation, and to exchange with official participants regarding the construction of gardens and pavilions. In addition to local officials and representatives from the Beijing Expo Coordination Bureau, the meeting gathered international stakeholders and representatives from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the Association of International Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
Following an opening speech from the Deputy Mayor of Beijing, Lu Yan, a welcome speech was delivered by Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE. Mr. Kerkentzes underlined the importance of shared responsibility in making the Expo a success, stating: “today’s meeting is a springboard that will make Expo 2019 Beijing a genuine expression of international cooperation, where participants come together to promote a more harmonious relationship between people and nature.”
Various organisational and logistical topics were discussed during the meeting, including the construction and planning, the organisation of events, communications, exhibition content and commercial activities. Representatives of the Organiser had the opportunity to give detailed presentations of the 503 ha Expo site and landscape, allowing participants to make the necessary preparations for their own gardens, which will be developed in upcoming months.
With a total of 97 confirmed international participants, the meeting was also the occasion for 31 countries to formally sign their participation contracts. All participants will have the opportunity to visit the site, located at the foot of the Great Wall in Yanqing District, during a tour to conclude the IPM tomorrow morning.