22. Jun 2023
Photo: Grad Beograd

Serbia won all four rounds of voting yesterday at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) General Assembly in Paris, making it official that Serbia will host the international exposition EXPO 2027. In all four rounds, Serbia received the most votes, and Spain was its only opponent in the final round.

Along with the USA, Thailand, Spain, and Argentina, Serbia was one of the five competitors for this exhibition. According to the government website, during the voting, the representatives of China backed the Serbian delegation and applauded alongside them. With 81 votes, BIE members selected Serbia as the host nation, defeating Spain's 70 votes. Serbia was the only country from Southeast Europe that applied to be the host country of this prestigious exhibition.

EXPO 2027 complex will be built next to the National Stadium in Surčin / Photo: City of Belgrade

Serbia will have a great opportunity and a flywheel for development as the host of EXPO 2027, especially in the construction and tourism industries, as a whole complex with supporting infrastructure should be built for the exhibition's purposes in addition to the National Stadium, which is anticipated to welcome about 2.5 million visitors during the exhibition itself.

The National Stadium in Surčin / Photo: City of Belgrade

"Right now, we may not even be aware of how important this is. It is about thousands of new jobs and a unique opportunity to attract hundreds of thousands of people who have never been to our city. To create new jobs for our companies," said Marko Čadež, president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The net value of the investment necessary for the realization of EXPO 2027 amounts to a total of 300 million euros, said Čadež in April.

EXPO 2027 will be held from May 15 to August 15, 2027, with the theme "Play for Humanity: Sport and Music for All". For the purposes of the exhibition, it is planned to build a whole series of fair halls, pavilions, accommodations, and commercial facilities next to the National Stadium in Surčin.

Central plaza of the EXPO 2027 complex / Photo: City of Belgrade

The EXPO 2027 complex will cover approximately 167 ha. 113 ha are planned for the construction of the EXPO 2027 complex: 83.1 ha for the exhibition space, 6.9 ha for the accompanying accommodation facilities, and 22.9 ha for the accompanying commercial facilities. This makes up almost 70% of the planned 167 ha. The rest refers to traffic areas, water areas, green areas, and infrastructure areas.

The EXPO 2027 complex is planned as a multifunctional space that,  after the exhibition, should grow into a significant economic and tourist center for the city of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia.

One of the entrances to the EXPO 2027 complex / Photo: City of Belgrade

Specialized exhibitions, such as EXPO 2027, are global events designed to respond to the challenges facing humanity. According to the statute, the exhibition space is completely built by the organizers, and participants are provided with pavilion space, which they can customize inside and out in accordance with their own interpretation of the EXPO theme.

Yesterday, at the World Congress of Chambers in Geneva, Marko Čadež spoke with the new president of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Ali Rashid Lutah, about support for the organization of EXPO 2027.

"We made an agreement based on which they will provide us with professional and technical support for the organization of new services of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for this exhibition. Given the extensive experience and the role of the Dubai Chamber in the organization of EXPO 2020 Dubai, we will try to learn as much as possible," said Čadež, according the SCCI website.

The EXPO 2027 complex promenade / Photo: City of Belgrade

EXPO 2027 in Belgrade is expected to be visited by around 2.59 million people (a total of four million visits). The total estimated economic effect of EXPO 2027 is 1.1 billion euros (estimated direct economic effect is 600 million euros, estimated indirect economic effect is 500 million euros, and estimated net profit is 9.82 million euros), the website reports.

Considering that the last exhibition of this type in the region of Southeast Europe was held in 1991 in Plovdiv, Belgrade is bringing EXPO to the region of Southeast Europe after more than three decades, which will also be the first organization of such a manifestation on the territory of the Western Balkans.

By: Jovana Nikolić

Photo: City of Belgrade

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