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World Expo connects 'Saudi Vision 2030' with globe

BEIJING NEWS | Updated: 2023-12-04 06:42

A staff member introduces a book on Chinese geography to local students at the Riyadh International Book Fair, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh was chosen as the host of the 2030 World Expo, following its winning bid that focused on shaping a prosperous and sustainable future.

Members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions chose Riyadh with a majority of 119 out of 165 votes during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday last week in the suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud welcomed the vote as an "expression of the trust that the international community has in what we have to offer… but also in its alignment with our own vision (for) 2030 and everything that we advocate for, which is a shared pathway to prosperity for all of the countries of the world".

The global economy is currently facing severe headwinds. All applicant countries and cities hope to inject new vitality into their economic development by hosting the World Expo. So the competition this time was quite fierce.

The Saudi sponsor predicts that the number of visitors will reach 40 million, and online visitors will exceed 1 billion, creating investment, economic and trade cooperation and tourism opportunities for Saudi Arabia.

Many observers have pointed out that 2030 will be a landmark year for Saudi Arabia's ambitious "Saudi Vision 2030" plan, which hopes to lead the country away from its oil economy and realize transformation of the national economy. Hosting the World Expo in 2030 will be of extraordinary significance for Saudi Arabia.

In its bid, Riyadh promised to set up a special regional collaborative platform to promote innovation and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. It also regarded sustainability as the core appeal of its bid, put forward the "zero carbon" initiative for the World Expo, and proposed development of sustainable transportation infrastructure, circular economy models, and energy-efficient buildings.

In addition, Saudi Arabia focused on the solidarity of the Global South in its lobbying strategy for votes, systematically persuading less-developed countries and emerging market economies to support it. This targeted and efficient lobbying campaign allowed Riyadh to secure victory.


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