June 25-26, the First Meeting of International Participants of Beijing Expo 2019 was held in Beijing. Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Tim Briercliffe, Secretary-General of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), Lu Yan, member of the Organizing Committee of Beijing Expo 2019, Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government and Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, Wang Hong, member of the Organizing Committee and Vice Mayor of Beijing, Wang Jinzhen, member of the Organizing Committee and Commissioner General of Beijing Expo 2019, and other related leaders of the Organizing Committee attended the meeting. About 270 representatives of the countries and the international organizations which had confirmed their participation or been the focused group of exhibition solicitation were also present at the meeting. Chen Bei, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing Municipal Government, presided over this event, marking the transition from participation solicitation to exhibition arrangement of Beijing Expo 2019.
Lu Yan, member of the Organizing Committee of Beijing Expo 2019, Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government and Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, stated in his speech, "The Chinese government has carried out full deployment of the construction of ecological civilization from the strategic height of the Chinese nation’s sustainable development. The core of the "ecological civilization” concept is "harmony and coordinated development of man and nature” which embodies the new philosophy of respecting nature, conforming to nature and protecting nature. This is highly consistent with the purpose of the International Horticultural Exhibition. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the preparatory work of Beijing Expo 2019. Holding the Expo via the medium of plants will raise the general public’s appreciation of gardening, boost international cultural exchanges, promote the connections between China and other countries and enhance mutual understanding and trust between China and the rest of the world."
97 countries/international organizations confirmed participation in writing
At the meeting, Zhou Jianping, Executive Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, made a presentation on the overall progress of the preparatory work of Beijing Expo 2019, elaborating on the status quo, progress and future work of the Expo’s preparations to the international participants. According to him, Beijing Expo 2019 has almost achieved its goal in participation solicitation -“double 100”, namely, winning no less than 100 official participants (countries and international organizations) and no less than 100 non-official participants (such as provinces/prefectures/cities, companies, associations and universities). At present, 97 countries and international organizations, such as the UK, Germany, Japan and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, have confirmed their participation in writing, including 80 countries and 17 international organizations. Some countries such as Japan, Pakistan and Germany have already started the construction of their exhibition gardens.
Witnessed by Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Tim Briercliffe, Secretary-General of the AIPH, Lu Yan, member of the Organizing Committee of Beijing Expo 2019, Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government and Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, Wang Jinzhen, member of the Organizing Committee and Commissioner General of Beijing Expo 2019, and Deng Naiping, Deputy Secretary-General of the Executive Committee and Party Secretary of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, Zhou Jianping, Executive Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, signed participation agreements with the representatives of 20 international participants.
On the afternoon of the 25th, the leaders of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau and Yanqing District briefed the international participants respectively on the progress of the Expo’s preparatory work, including site planning, press conference, activity organization, project construction, construction requirements, exhibition arrangement/services, commercial activities and security work in Yanqing.
In addition to the aforesaid all-around preparations of Beijing Expo 2019, a Q&A session was held for the representatives, and a special meeting for participation promotion was launched for those countries and international organizations which had not confirmed their participation so as to promote the full realization of “Double 100”. Besides, the international participants also visited the site of Beijing Expo 2019 in Yanqing District.Participants full of confidence
According to the briefings, Beijing Expo 2019 has entered the stage of all-around construction and exhibition arrangement. The Expo’s Coordination Bureau will do its utmost to provide necessary services to support the event and ensure the successful participation of various countries and international organizations. The Exhibition Service Center will focus on providing one-stop services to facilitate the work and life of the participants, such as convenient permit/license application, prompt problem solving, easy entry and residence of personnel, and fast customs clearance, inspection/quarantine and transportation of exhibits. After invitation, review and approval, two batches of a total of 104 recommended service providers have been selected to provide the participants with quality services in all aspects, such as project design, garden construction, exhibition arrangement, equipment leasing, material supply, logistics services, exhibition area management/operation, activities organization and hospitality services, to guarantee the success of their participation. In addition, during Beijing Expo 2019, the participating countries and international organizations may hold National Day and Honor Day to display their national/organizational image on the cross-country platform of International Horticultural Exposition and carry out economic and cultural exchanges.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, said, "The Chinese government and the team of Beijing Expo 2019 work diligently in the preparations of the Expo and have achieved many satisfactory achievements. We witnessed their great efforts in the preparatory work and their excellent work state. The progress of site construction, especially the construction of the main venues, is amazing. I firmly believe that the excellent ability of the organizer will definitely guarantee a splendid horticultural event.”
Tim Briercliffe, Secretary-General of the AIPH, stated, "Beijing Expo 2019 will be the largest international horticultural exposition, providing everyone with an excellent opportunity to display the characteristics of different countries and the efforts of various regions and organizations in utilizing plants to improve people’s life. Beijing Expo 2019 will become an important milestone in the history of the International Horticultural Exposition. I am full of confidence in this Expo and the power of its theme "Live Green, Live Better”. I’m fully convinced that the participants will see their dreams come true and Beijing Expo 2019 become the best horticultural event ever."
The representatives of the participating countries thought highly of the orderly, all-around and efficient preparatory work of Beijing Expo 2019. They said that they had carefully selected the horticultural and cultural elements that can represent their country’s unique characteristics and customs, and the designs of their exhibition gardens, exhibition sections and activities are based on the Expo’s theme "Live Green, Live Better” and 5 sub-themes, namely,“Green Development”, “Horticulture in Life”, "Harmonizing with the Nature”, "Education and the Future” and "Home of Hearts”, gathering unique gardening and colorful cultures of the world at the foot of the Great Wall and the bank of the Gui River for in-depth dialogues and exchanges.Preparatory work
It is understood that the preparatory work for Beijing Expo 2019 is proceeding in an orderly manner. Its design and planning has been fully completed. The core buildings such as China Pavilion and International Pavilion have entered the stage of exterior wall decoration, mechanical and electrical installations and secondary structure. The infrastructure/utilities construction of the site has been fully completed, giving the initial shape to the park. Domestic and international exhibition solicitation has been basically completed, and exhibition planning basically finalized. Publicity and promotion efforts continue to heat up, and the influence of Beijing Expo 2019 keeps expanding at home and abroad. Initial results of market development have been achieved. Nine enterprises, including Air China, CYTS, Bank of Beijing, Shunxin Holdings, Vanke, BAIC Group, Baidu, Jingdong and China Telecom, have officially signed the agreements to become the Expo’s global partners. The ticketing program has been preliminarily completed, and the legal framework largely established. The work plans for security, logistics, visitor management, site cleaning, press release, competition activities, volunteer recruitment, comprehensive guarantee and emergency occurrence have been formulated to provide solid guarantee for unified scheduling, orderly arrangement and smooth operation of the event.
Zhou Jianping, Executive Director General of the Expo’s Coordination Bureau, stated that 2018 is the critical year for winning the battle of preparing for Beijing Expo 2019. The next step will be full completion of infrastructure construction on the site, coordinated services for participants’ exhibition, improvement of operation services, enhancement of event planning, raised domestic and international attention and focused objective of “a new international horticulture exposition and a new paradigm of ecological civilization” via scientific organization, orderly scheduling and strict control so as to enhance the preparation efforts in line with the highest standards, provide solid guarantee and create favorable conditions for the successful holding of Beijing Expo 2019, usher in the participants and visitors from home and abroad and pay joint efforts in building a green life, sharing beautiful home and writing a glorious chapter of ecological civilization of mankind.