The Bureau of International Expositions (Bureau International des Expositions in French), also known popularly by its acronym the B.I.E., is the governing body of world’s fairs (international expositions).

logo of BIE logo of BIE
Formation 22 November 1928
Type Expositions
Headquarters France Paris, France
Membership 154 members
Honorary President H.E. Jian-min Wu
Website http://www.bie-paris.org/

The B.I.E. was established by an international convention signed in Paris on 22 November 1928, with the following goals:

  • to oversee the calendar, the bidding, the selection and the organisation of World Expositions;
  • to establish a framework allowing countries to cooperate under the best conditions as organisers of Expositions or as participants through national pavilions.

To date, 154 member countries have adhered to the BIE Convention.

How does the BIE work ?

The Secretariat General of the BIE, which is located in Paris, is headed by the Secretary General. The French Foreign Office carries out formal diplomatic relationships for the BIE.

Membership to the BIE — currently comprising 140 nations — is open to any Government by accession to the 1928 Convention and the 1972 Protocol on International Exhibitions. An annual fee is charged on a sliding scale based on United Nations principles on such contributions. However, a substantial part of the BIE’s income derives from the registration fees for staging exhibitions and from a percentage of the gate money raised for that exhibition.

General Assemblies of the BIE are held twice a year in Paris under the chairmanship of the elected President of the BIE. These meetings are attended by all member states and by observers. Delegates review applications for new projects and consider reports from those exhibitions in a more advanced state. They are also attentive to reports by the four Committees, which supervise appropriate aspects of the BIE’s activities. The Executive Committee assesses new projects and exercises an overview on the different aspects of exhibitions, while the Rules Committee is concerned with the detailed documentation and technical provisions of exhibitions as well as the internal rules of the BIE.

The Administration and Budget Committee and the Information and Communication Committee complete this structure. Each of the four Committees has a Chairman, who at the same time is a Vice President of the BIE, and a Vice Chairman. These eight members form a controlling body which assesses the activities of the BIE as a whole in preparation for the summer and winter General Assemblies. Committee members are elected by the General Assembly.

The B.I.E. regulates two types of expositions: Registered Exhibitions (commonly called Universal Expositions), and Recognized Exhibitions (commonly called International or Specialised Expositions). The two categories of exhibitions and their distinctive characteristics are as follows (more information www.bie-paris.org) :

International Registered Exhibition (or World Exhibition)

Frequency : every five years

Duration : 6 months at most

Area : not restricted

Theme : general (cf. General classification for International exhibitions)

International Recognised Exhibition

Frequency : during the interval between two International Registered Exhibitions

Duration : 3 months at most

Area : 25 ha at most

Theme : specialized

This type of event could give all nations the possibility of hosting an international exhibition.

2010 shanghai world expo

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Related posts:

  1. List of hitherto official world expositions
  2. history of World Expo
  3. World Expo


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