The commission is in Russia to consider Yekaterinburg’s readiness to host World Expo 2025.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to Moscow.
I know that you have a busy agenda. You have visited Yekaterinburg, the city that is bidding to host World Expo.
You probably already know everything I am about to say, but I wish to emphasise it. Russia has been taking part in these exhibitions for a long time. We participated in the first exhibition in the 19th century, and last year, in 2017, we were partners of the Expo 2017 business agenda in Astana.
We regularly take part in such events held at various venues, but Russia has not hosted an event this large yet. You have seen for yourselves that Yekaterinburg is a large Russian industrial centre where most leading industrial companies are represented and have headquarters. There are many joint enterprises; I think almost 400 international enterprises involving foreign capital.
We believe that an additional 500 hectares will be allocated for the exhibition if it takes place in Russia. I believe you have seen the location: it is conveniently located between the city centre and the airport. If this happens, we are planning to welcome people from at least 140 countries. This is approximately 14 million people, or 10 times more than the population of the city and its suburbs, which is about 1.4 million with the adjoining areas.
The construction of the facilities will cost about 1.5 billion euros. The funds will be allocated from the federal and regional budgets. We are planning to balance these expenses with the activities of the exhibition venue and partly by attracting private companies that are interested in this.
You have probably been told that we are planning to launch a campaign to improve the urban environment. This includes transport infrastructure, city development, metro and monorail upgrades and expansion and the park zone. Of course, all of this will benefit the region’s development. And the region, as I said, is well developed in terms of industry.
I would like to point out another fact. We propose an agenda for people from developing economies in this exhibition. In addition, we are ready to pay a large part of the expenses that their participation would involve.
In this case, I believe Yekaterinburg’s exact location between Europe and Asia is important. As you have noticed, it is situated almost in the centre of Russia’s huge territory in the Urals.
I think this is an advantage: the travel time to get there from various parts of the world is almost the same.
This is what I wanted to say. I would like to welcome you once again and hear your opinions about what you have seen and your impressions after visiting Yekaterinburg.
Chairman of the BIE Executive Committee Jai-chul Choi: Your Excellency, Mr President. Thank you very much for receiving our Enquiry Mission in spite of your busy schedule.
First of all, I wish to express our deep condolences to the victims and their families of the tragic Kemerovo fire incident. Our thoughts are with you and your people.
Having said this, I take this opportunity to report to you that the Enquiry Mission has successfully accomplished its mandate given by the BIE.
Since our arrival here last Monday we have had a series of working sessions with your team, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. And everything is excellently arranged and well prepared. So, our preliminary finding is very positive.
First, the project proposed by Russia is viable and feasible, with the strong support of the federal government.
The second point is that the theme proposed by Russia has strong relevance for the global agenda. Also it is very appealing to the international community.
And third point, we met with representatives of various groups. This morning, we had a meeting with political leaders of the State Duma as well as the Council of Federation. Also we were well received by your Prime Minister, and we confirmed strong political support and assurance for this project.
At the same time, in Yekaterinburg we met with representatives of civil society organisations. It is very impressive to witness their active participation and strong support for the success of this project.
So everything is very much encouraging to us. Also we got to know that Russia has a wonderful strong track record of successfully hosting global events such as the Olympics, and also the G20 summit and APEC summit.
Russia has successfully participated in the International Expo. In some cases the Russian pavilion has been elected one of the best pavilions. So in this case we believe Russia has the capacity and the capability to successfully host the 2025 World Expo.
So, our preliminary finding will be submitted to the BIE Executive Committee meeting scheduled for early May. If the Executive Committee approves our report, then this report will be submitted to the General Assembly for further consideration. And the final vote to select the host country will be decided in November at the General Assembly, Your Excellency.
That is the summary I wish to report to you at this stage.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Jai-chul Choi, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to add something else. We have a lot of expertise in holding international events of this scale. We have almost completed our preparations for the FIFA World Cup. At the beginning, when we started this work, we adopted a federal law structuring all the work to prepare for the World Cup.
If Yekaterinburg’s bid wins, we are ready to adopt a similar federal law, which we will draft in cooperation with the organisers in order for this work to be structured and systematised.