World Expo

  • History
  • The BIE
  • Korea in World Expos
About BIE


  • Following the successful expo in London, UK in 1851, the number of countries seeking to host international expositions increased causing a rift between the host and participating countries. At the Berlin Diplomatic Conference in 1912, France led discussions on establishing an international organization, but talks were dispelled with the outbreak of World War I. Finally, in 1928, France initiated an agreement with the countries of the world for the establishment of an international body, and thus the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) was founded.
  • BIE: Bureau International des Expositions (International Exhibitions Bureau)


The emblem, the official symbol of the Expo organization, was chosen at the plenary session of the Administration Council in November 1969. The emblem consists of a circle, which symbolizes friendship. Inside the circle is a succession of navy blue waves progressing towards the horizon to suggest the forward motion of humanity. It was unveiled at the 1970 Osaka International Exhibition for the very first time.
Go to BIE’s website


  • Major bodies within the BIE include the General Assembly, the Presidential Board, and the Secretariat.

    The General Assembly, the supreme decision-making organ, is held twice a year. Delegates who represent their respective governments vote on major decisions such as the host country of upcoming Expositions. Each member country is entitled to one vote.

    The Presidential Board comprises one President and four Vice-Presidents who also chair the specialized committees within the BIE: the Executive Committee, the Regulations Committee, the Administration and Budget Committee, and the Information and Communication Committee.
  • Current President: Ferdinand NAGY, Rumania (Elected in Nov.2011)
    Secretary General: Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, Spain.

BIE Accredited World Expos

Accredited vs. Non-accredited Expos

Category Accredited Expos Non-accredited Expos
Theme Registered: not restricted
Recognized: specialized
Not restricted
Participation States, international organizations,
civil society, companies
Member states are restricted from using state name when building pavilions
Frequency Every 5 years Not restricted
Duration 3 months - 6 months Not restricted
Inviting host Host country’s government Host city, state or organization
Form of Invitation Official letter sent by the diplomatic authorities Letter signed by head of organization

Types of BIE Accredited Expos

Category World Expo International (Specialized) Expo
Category Registered Recognized
Theme General Specialized
Duration 6 months 3 months
Frequency Every 5 years Between 2 World Expos
Site Unlimited space 25 hectares maximum
Construction The participants themselves design and build their own pavilions The participants are provided with the pavilions
Cases 2005 Aichi, Japan
2010 Shanghai, China
2008 Zaragoza, Spain

* Expos were categorized into general expositions and specialized expositions prior to the 1998 Lisbon Expo.

List of Member States

Asia(29), Europe(45), Middle East(14), Africa(37), Americas(32)

  • Europe
    • Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Romania, Monaco, Malta, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Andorra, Iceland, Austria, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Great Britain, Italy, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Croatia, Turkey, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Albania, Estonia, Lithuania, Republic of Serbia.
  • Americas
    • Guyana, Granada, Nicaragua, Dominica, Barbados, Bahamas, Venezuela, Belize, Brazil, Surinam, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Panama, Dominican Republic, Chile.
  • Asia
    • Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, Australia, Nauru, Palau, Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, Nepal, Tonga, Timor-Leste.
  • Middle East
    • Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya.
  • Africa
    • Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, Algeria, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Comoros, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Guinea, Congo, Liberia, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Eritrea, Central Africa, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Mauritius, Angola, Malawi, Lesotho