Paris Seeks Sri Lanka's Backing For Expo 2025 Bid: Chief Pascal Lamy Tells Reporters in Colombo

The head of France's bid Pascal Lamy will host the 2025 World Expo held talks with Sri Lankan leaders on Friday in a bid to ensure their support, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

France is expected to spend EUR 3.5 billion ($4.22 billion) on hosting the Expo in Paris, on which the project will generate money without public funding, Lamy told reporters in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Lamy, a former director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is currently visiting countries in the Asia-Pacific region in an effort to gain their support for the Paris bid.

Lamy also voiced his confidence over securing international support for France's environmentally-sustainable proposal, particularly since Paris is making a bid for hosting the Expo a year after organising the 2024 Summer Olympics.

France will be hosting the Expo for the first time in 125 years if the bid succeeded as it last hosted the event in 1900.

France faces strong competition from Japan, Russia, and Azerbaijan for the 2025 exhibition, Lamy pointed out.

France is offering the world the opportunity to use the Paris Expo facilities beyond the exhibition.

"Countries may convert their pavilions and remain at Paris-Saclay to receive students or innovative businesses from their country in order to contribute to the area's intellectual and entrepreneurial vibrancy," the French delegation said in a statement.

The Paris bid, which was initiated during the rule of President Francois Hollande, has been "enthusiastically embraced" by his successor Emmanuel Macron, Lamy added.

Around 40 million people are expected to visit the 2025 Expo over a six-month period.

“France is ready to host an event of that scale as the country is expected to welcome 100 million tourists annually by 2020,” he noted.

Delegates from 170 member states of the Paris-based Bureau of International Exhibitions will vote on the bids in November. (




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