“There are two things that we want to show during the Expo. First – revitalisation. Łódź is a great example of how to adapt a city’s old industrial tissue to the present times. Second – innovation. The Expo will allow us to show our guests how modern technologies facilitate day-to-day management of development processes,” says Jerzy KWIECIŃSKI.
.Events like the World Exhibition offer their host countries and cities a great opportunity to promote themselves. Over its a few-months-long duration, the Expo is visited by several million guests. They become familiar with the culture, customs, history or cuisine of the event’s host. All of these have a unique promotional value that helps build positive associations with a country or a city.
This aspect is certainly important, but you must not let it cover the most vital one. Each Expo is first and foremost about economy. It is a venue for entrepreneurs and economy-minded politicians from all over the world.
There are two reasons why this should be borne in mind. The first one is purely economic – the Expo is a meeting place for businesspeople that may result in valuable contacts and contracts. The second reason is somewhat linked to economy – the Expo allows to reach out to businesspeople, usually those who rank among the most influential in their backgrounds, cities, or countries; who decide on locations for future investments. In this respect, too, the Expo in Poland would be a great opportunity that we intend to harness.
With a view to achieving this aim – being granted the right to organise the World Exhibition in 2022 – we are establishing cooperation with business partners: those interested in entering Poland’s market and those recognised abroad. It is important to have them support our candidacy. We have already signed cooperation agreements with two entrepreneurs’ organisations : The Employers of the Republic of Poland and The National Chamber of Commerce. But there is more. Among our partners are such significant (at home and abroad) companies as Atlas, Ursus, IBM, and prospectively KGHM. These are global brands that will help us realise the underlying goal, i.e. convince others that Łódź deserves the right to organise the World Exhibition in five years.
It is not our only effort in a competition over the Expo organisation right. Prime Minister Beata Szydło addressed the vast majority of countries worldwide requesting support for our candidacy. In addition, I myself as the Government’s Plenipotentiary for the Expo in Łódź and my team at the Ministry of Development, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, we hold talks with other countries in hopes of securing their votes. The World Exhibition 2022 ballot will take place only in November and most countries have not made up their minds yet, but we are already working to gain as many allies as possible.
The Expo does not have such a political clout as the UN Security Council. That said, our campaign for its organisation to be entrusted to Łódź is hardly smaller than when we fought for Poland’s election into the UN Security Council. September and October will be decisive, revealing if we managed to win sufficient backing Łódź and Poland host the Expo 2022. Although our rivals – Argentine’s Buenos Aires and US’ Minneapolis – have an advantage over Łódź because they benefit from a greater global recognition, the final decision will depend on cool calculation of the voting states, with details likely to weigh in favour of one of the candidates. Therefore, we hope to be able to catch up with our competitors with good ideas and high activity.
What’s that idea? There are two things that we want to show during the Expo. First – revitalisation. Łódź is a great example of how to adapt a city’s old industrial tissue to the present times. Second – innovation. The Expo will give us an opportunity to show our guests how modern technologies facilitate day-to-day management of development processes. In this way, we will be able to picture Poland a country that has successfully carried out the political and economic transformation. A number of surprises are also being prepared in support of our candidacy in the final stage.