29 march 2013

Dmitry Medvedev meets with senior executives of the International Exhibitions Bureau


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Steen Christensen (President of the Executive Committee of the International Exhibitions Bureau), Mr Vicente Loscertales (Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau), colleagues. Over ten years ago, I spent a lot of time in Europe together with a Russian delegation. I toured various countries and explained how Moscow was such a good city. But we failed to win the bid, and the World Expo was held in Shanghai. However, this was a very good experience, in that it helped us understand what kind of event this is, and what ideas the Russian Federation can suggest in this context.

I would like to greet you and say that we are determined to prove that Yekaterinburg is an excellent location in which to hold this event in 2020. I hope that during your stay in our country you will become convinced that this is the case, and that you will speak with all the officials. I know that you have met with the President. On behalf of the Government, I would also like to assure you that we, naturally, will do our best to hold top-quality exhibition events in line with the current requirements, if the relevant decision is made.

But we still have to win the bid, and we must be stronger than anyone else in order to do so. And we are now trying to show this.

Thank you very much for coming to the Russian Federation.

Steen Christensen (via interpreter): Mr Prime Minister, thank you very much for your kind words and for your greetings. We are members of an inspection commission from the International Exhibitions Bureau. The Commission includes Secretary General Mr Loscertales, Mr Mohamed Bensalem (National Delegate of Algeria in the International Exhibitions Bureau), Mr Eduardo Brunetti (National Delegate of Italy in the International Exhibitions Bureau), Mr Peter Mahafha (National Delegate of the Republic of South Africa in the International Exhibitions Bureau) and Mr Romas Jankauskas (Commissioner General of the Lithuanian Exposition at World Expo). Mr Ferdinand Nagy (President of the International Exhibitions Bureau) is also here with us. We do not represent our own states here. We represent all 62 BIE member-states.

We have come here in order to assess the possibility of implementing the Yekaterinburg-2020 project, the rationale for doing so and the ability to organise this project. We have been conducting this assessment for the past few days, after arriving in Yekaterinburg. We did the same in Sochi. At long last, we have made it to Moscow.

How do we work? We have held a number of technical meetings. We have also flown above the proposed World Expo site. Your team and bidding committee have prepared very well. We have heard presentations at these technical meetings. The presentations have described the contents of your bid in great detail and, at the same time, concisely. We have received answers to all of our questions. All presentations were highly professional and of the highest level. On the whole, we have held a series of extremely fruitful meetings.

Receiving political-support guarantees from the Government, the Parliament and various other agencies is a highly important element of our assessment…