World Expo 2025

Three countries are candidates to host World Expo 2025: Japan (in Osaka), the Russian Federation (in Ekaterinburg), and Azerbaijan (in Baku). The 170 Member States of the BIE will elect the host country at the 164th General Assembly in November 2018.

World Expos, known officially as International Registered Exhibitions, are organised every five years. Their themes are designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time. The next World Expo will take place in Dubai (UAE) between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021 under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.


FB World Expo 25 1200 Eng Oct16

1. Candidature Phase

Submission of Candidatures

The Government of the State wishing to organise World Expo 2025, known officially as an International Registered Exhibition, must submit its application to the BIE mentioning the proposed theme, the proposed dates, the duration of the Expo, a guarantee of the fulfilment of its obligations, and the legal status of the organisers.

To apply for World Expos, candidates must submit their applications between 6 and 9 years before the proposed opening dates of the Expo.

After one country has submitted its application to the BIE, all other countries wishing to organise World Expo 2025 have six months to submit their own bids. Thus, following the application of France submitted to the BIE on 22 November 2016, the candidate list remained open until 22 May 2017 at 6pm (Paris time).

There must be at least 15 years between any two Expos organised in the same country. If the Government submitting the application is not the organiser of the Expo, it must officially recognise the organisers and guarantee the fulfilment of their obligations.

2. Project Examination Phase

Bid Dossier

After the candidature phase, all candidates present a bid dossier based on defined specifications. These bid dossiers will be used as the basis for the work of BIE Enquiry Missions that will be carried out in candidate countries.

Enquiry Mission

Enquiry Missions are carried out by the BIE in each candidate city. These missions will assess the feasibility and viability of the Expo project, the political and social climate of the candidate country and city, and the support of the government for the project.

The following elements are evaluated:

  • The proposed theme (its definition and its content)
  • Date and duration
  • Location
  • Area of the Expo site
  • Number of expected visitors
  • Proposed measures to ensure financial feasibility and financial guarantees
  • Indicators that will allow the evaluation of the participation costs for countries and the proposed financial and material provisions to minimize this cost.
  • Attitude of relevant authorities and interested parties
  • Public support for the project
  • Environmental impact of the project
  • Plans for the communication and promotion of the project

Project Assessment

The results of the Enquiry Missions are compiled in a report, reviewed by the Executive Committee of the BIE and forwarded with advice to the General Assembly. The Members States are asked to approve or not the recommendations of the Executive Committee, based on each Enquiry Mission report, on whether each project should be considered viable or not and allowed to progress to the final vote at the following General Assembly. Once approved, the report forms the basis of evaluation by BIE Member States during the vote.

International Campaign – Project Development

In order to garner support for their Expo project, candidate countries carry out international campaigns as soon as they have submitted their bid to host an Expo.

During each General Assembly of the BIE held between the submission of the bid and the final vote, candidate countries have the opportunity to present their Expo project to delegates.

World Expo 25 Eng Jun17

3. Election

At the end of the project examination phase, BIE Member States will vote for the host country of Expo 2025 in a secret ballot at the 164th General Assembly of the BIE due to be held in November 2018.

The selection criteria are based on the feasibility and the viability of the Expo project as determined by the Enquiry Mission, as well as the appeal of the proposed Expo theme and whether it allows for the participation of each country in the Expo. Member States also take into consideration their bilateral relations with the candidate countries when considering their vote.

Each Member State has one vote, and Member States are given priority over non-Member States for the organisation of an Expo. In the absence of a bid from a Member State, bids from non-Member States require a two thirds majority in any round of voting to secure the right to organise the Expo.

The voting procedure

  • In the case of one or two candidates, the right to host an Expo is awarded to the country that obtains a simple majority of votes for or against.
  • If there are more than two candidates, then a country must receive a two thirds majority in order to win in the first round. If no proposal receives a two thirds majority in the first round, the proposal that receives the least amount of votes is eliminated. This procedure carries on until there are only two candidates left. The host country will then be elected by a simple majority.

elections en

Following the vote, the future host country will work with the BIE to formalise its World Expo project and will submit a definitive implementation plan, known as a registration dossier. This dossier needs to be submitted to the BIE at least five years before the opening date of the Expo, so that it can be registered by the General Assembly.

Japan’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Osaka between 3 May and 3 November 2025 under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.

All information is provided by the candidate.

1. Proposed Theme

The proposed overarching theme of the Expo, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives” is supported by two sub themes:

  • How to Lead a Healthy Life in a Diverse Manner
  • Sustainable Socioeconomic Systems

It aims to focus on is human lives.

The theme would call on each and every individual to think about their own aspirations and empower them to realise their full potential and push forward the worldwide effort to create a sustainable society that embraces all such aspirations.

It aligns with global efforts to tackle the common international community issues outlined in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A pivotal step in achieving these goals will be the actualisation of Society 5.0, Japan’s catalysing initiative to empower individuals to confront head-on the issues of the times, by leveraging the technological breakthroughs in the Internet of Things, AI, robotics and big data, among others. Expo 2025 Osaka would be a place to co-create sustainable society that can support the aspirations of all through the sharing of new ideas like Society 5.0 from each participant.

2. Proposed Site

Osaka has a world-class transportation infrastructure. The city is serviced by three major airports, numerous large seaports, and connected to the rest of Japan through a network of immaculate superhighways and world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains. Access for both domestic and international guests could not be easier.

An analysis of the expected approximately 28 million visitors and resulting accommodation requirements, together with plans for new construction and assumptions for the demand of other visitors, demonstrates that Osaka’s accommodation would be more than sufficient. Even at peak visiting periods, there would be room to spare in nearby hotels.

The venue itself, Yumeshima Island (which literally translates as dream island) is a man-made island owned by Osaka City. This allows authorities total freedom to design and develop the infrastructure required for an optimal Expo experience.

With its captivating views of the Seto Inland Sea, its continuous light breeze, and its proximity to central Osaka—only 20 to 30 minutes from downtown—Yumeshima Island would live up to its name as a dream venue for the Expo.

3. About Osaka

The Kansai region, with Osaka as its hub, is a region with a daring spirit to challenge, a rich culture that blends the traditional with the modern, and advanced life-sciences technologies as well as other fields.

The city has borne many unique ideas and inventions, like instant ramen, karaoke, and conveyor-belt sushi that have had great, long-lasting benefits to the daily lives of many.

For more than 1,600 years, the Kansai region, which includes the cities of Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto, was home to Japan’s capital. Nara was called the Eastern-most stop on the fabled Silk Road, serving as a gateway to ideas and influences from the world.

Astoundingly, half of Japan’s National Treasures, and 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be found in the Kansai region.

Russia’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Ekaterinburg between 2 May and 2 November 2025 under the theme “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”.

All information is provided by the candidate.

1. Proposed Theme

The proposed theme for World Expo 2025 Ekaterinburg is “Changing the World: Innovations & Better Life for Future Generations.” It expresses the global need for a renewed and responsible reflection on the world and the challenges humanity faces. It does so by focusing on Humanity and Innovation as interlinked drivers to improve Quality of Life. It addresses the universal phenomenon of innovative development and progress that affects human existence throughout the world.

The theme is presented as a unique opportunity to explore and reflect on the living social process, dominated by continuous technological change. In this regard, Expo 2025 Ekaterinburg would be a critical platform to study, analyse and interpret the conceptual triad of People, Innovation and Quality of Life. Balancing each element of this triad is a difficult task and dependent on the approach taken, while the result shapes the path our world will take.

Today, technology, trade interests and commercial pressures often become the driving framework for geopolitical decision-making. Thus the theme’s relevance to the world across so many fields cannot be overstated. Understanding innovation’s implications for the future would be part of the core mission of Expo 2025.

The theme would bring together researchers, innovators, policymakers and entrepreneurs to discuss the future impact of innovative technologies. It would open up a dialogue to explore the changes and economic impacts that innovation produces. The innovation process itself — and its technological base — affects all fundamental aspects of lives across every field.

2. Proposed Site

The proposed 500 ha World Expo site is situated in the western part of Ekaterinburg, just 3 km from the city centre and close to the symbolic border between Europe and Asia, which lies within the city. The Expo Site would house 103 pavilions, with 147 countries expected to participate.

The site was chosen due to its close location to the city centre, ensuring its infrastructural availability and accessibility. The site’s landscape highlights the Urals’ distinctive colours and beautiful natural surroundings, adjoining the Verkh-Isetsky pond to the north and a rolling forest to the west. To the east and south, the site borders with residential areas and the city infrastructure.

During the Expo, all kinds of entertainment, cultural and recreational activities at newly-built venues would be arranged around the embankment, the main ones being the Amphitheatre, the Concert Hall, the Expo Arena and the Multimedia Playground & Cinema.

Staging the most high-profile and innovative international event to run smoothly while hosting Expo 2025 means ensuring the best, distraction-free experience for its participants and visitors. Ekaterinburg would provide all visitors with world-class accommodation, which would become a sustainable social legacy for generations of citizens after the end of World Expo 2025.

3. About Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg is located in the central part of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. The city is located on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, in the valley of the Iset River, a tributary of the Tobol River. Ekaterinburg municipality covers an area of 1,143 ha. 

The central location of the city has determined its key role in the European-Asian transport and trade system, which has contributed to the development of Ekaterinburg as a major centre of transport, distribution, trading and intermediation on both a regional and international level.

Its favourable economic and geographical position and high potential in terms of industry, academia, labour, engineering and culture enables Ekaterinburg to perform important geopolitical functions.

Today, Ekaterinburg is more than just a major transportation hub and a modern industrial metropolis. It also stands at the forefront of scientific and medical progress, actively engaging in research and innovation. The city’s medical facilities are traditionally known for providing exceptional healthcare services.

Azerbaijan’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Baku between 10 May and 10 November 2025 under the theme “Developing human capital, building a better future”.

All information is provided by the candidate.

1. Proposed Theme

The theme – “Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future” – is of global importance. It aims to have an impact on every individual, in every society, in every country.

Human capital is humanity’s collective potential. The sum of its creativity and knowledge. Its talent and experience. Its ingenuity and promise.

Azerbaijan’s project for Expo 2025 is an exploration of how human ability, in all its forms, could be best applied across all aspects of society for the benefit of everyone.

The three sub-themes align with three United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They are:

Talent: The Future of Education. The possibilities are endless, but only attainable with education, the nurturing of talent and an assimilation of skills. The project for Baku Expo 2025 is to enhance global understanding of how to maximise the potential of our human capital through education.

Vitality: The Future of Health. The ability to work and live a long, meaningful and healthy life is a fundamental human right and the foundation for the achievement of our potential. The project for Baku Expo 2025 is to provide a fresh perspective to the exploration of how the health component of human capital could be nurtured.

Achievement: The Future of Work. Human capital looks to the ultimate goal of productivity from a workforce. But how is productive work redefined in a world of automation and what does it mean for the future of employment? The project for Baku Expo 2025 is to bring rigour to the debate, testing how to achieve on a personal, community and, ultimately, a global level.

2. Proposed Site

Azerbaijan’s project for Baku Expo 2025 is to construct the site east of the city. Two hundred hectares of undeveloped land, set between two growing suburbs, would be transformed into a major extension of the city with a fully integrated transport infrastructure. It would be the world’s newest urban park; an authentic and natural location that is both a beautiful and attractive addition to Baku.

Reflecting the theme, “Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future”, the site would create opportunities for individual thought, collective action and global interconnection.

From above, it would resemble an eight-pointed star – the national emblem of Azerbaijan. While the intricate, geometric patterns of Azerbaijan’s world-renowned carpets provide design inspiration for the plazas and leisure spaces. At the centre, an iconic building – the Azerbaijan National Pavilion – would be the main point of reference as visitors navigate through pavilions and parkland.

The Baku Expo 2025 site would be an illustration of the future function of urban spaces within the theme of “Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future”, and a permanent legacy for residents and visitors to enjoy.

As part of that legacy, the site could be easily converted to a natural park at the end of the Expo. And the Azerbaijan National Pavilion would be transformed to house a permanent exhibition, educating visitors about the country’s achievements in economic, social and humanitarian fields since regaining independence in 1991.

3. About Baku

Baku, the largest city in the Caucasus and capital of Azerbaijan, sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea, at the crossroads of continents and civilisations. A commercial, political and cultural bridge between east and west, north and south where people have been living inclusively for centuries.

Eclectic architecture – combining historical heritage of the East and West with iconic contemporary buildings – makes Baku one of the most beautiful cities in the world. International hotels, exclusive shopping and excellent restaurants make it an attractive destination.

Baku is now established as a key city on the world stage. Open and tolerant, it is a global centre for intercultural dialogue and cooperation, regularly bringing together political, cultural and religious leaders from around the world. Baku is also the host of landmark international events such as the Eurovision Song Contest, the inaugural European Games, the Islamic Solidarity Games, Formula 1 and UEFA Euro 2020.