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Turkey emerges as strong competitor for World Expo 2020
Transport minister says Izmir received votes from 60 countries.
November 27, 2013 11:50 by Muhammad Aldalou
Tonight’s the night, when the 168-member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) will meet in Paris to decide which one of the competing cities – Dubai, İzmir, Ekaterinburg and Sao Paulo – will win the rights to host the World Expo 2020.
It’s no secret that Dubai has had an immense amount of support, both domestically, from residents and business leaders, and globally, from celebrities and political leaders.
However, despite all the buzz, hype and confidence in Dubai’s bid – a recent poll by Dubai Statistics Centre revealed that 99 per cent of UAE nationals and expats believe that the city is a strong candidate – there’s really no way to be certain which city will emerge victorious – until approximately 9pm tonight.
Turkey’s transport minister recently announced that, after speaking with representatives of almost all (97 per cent) of the member states of the BIE, 60 countries have declared their support for İzmir’s bid to host the event.
At a press conference in Turkey this week, Binali Yıldırım said, “İzmir and Milano competed in 2015, but Milano won with a slight edge. Now there are four bidding cities. We expect that İzmir will achieve it.”
Yıldırım said that they expected to host approximately 30 million visitors during the six months if İzmir hosts the Expo 2020. The city’s theme is: ‘New Routes to a Better World/Health for All’.
“The goal is to show Turkey’s success in improving its healthcare system over the past 11 years and show strategies and techniques to other countries that might need support,” Yıldırım added.
The candidate cities have had plenty of time to make an impression, but each nation will be given one final 20-minute time slot for a presentation to try and sway the judges.
The members of the BIE will then make their final decision and vote electronically for their favourite city. Each member state can be represented by a maximum of three delegates.