On January 11, Thailand submitted a letter of candidature to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to organize a Specialized Expo in Phuket in 2028.
The letter, from Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, was handed to the Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, by Sarun Charoensuwan, Ambassador of Thailand to France.
Thailand’s candidature is based on the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”, and if successful, the Expo would take place in Phuket between March 20 and June 17, 2028.
Thailand’s candidature follows the United States’ candidature, submitted on July 29, 2021, which opened the six-month window during which any other countries wishing to organize a Specialized Expo in 2027 or 2028 may notify the BIE of their candidature. At the end of this candidature phase — on January 28, 2022 at 5pm CET — the BIE will close the candidate list.
Once the list is closed, the project examination phase of the candidature process will be launched, during which each candidate will submit a detailed candidature dossier. The BIE will then organize Enquiry Missions and assess the feasibility and viability of each candidature project. The host country of Specialized Expo 2027/28 will then be elected by BIE Member States gathered in a General Assembly, on the principle of one country, one vote.
Kerkentzes declared: “The BIE is pleased to receive Thailand’s letter of candidature to organize a Specialized Expo in Phuket. This second candidature attests to the role of Specialized Expos in generating fruitful discussion and global action around themes addressing specific challenges facing humanity.”
Thailand has been a member of the BIE since 1993, but its involvement in Expos dates as far back as 1862, when the Kingdom sent a delegation to the World Expo in London. Since then, the country’s participation in World Expos, Specialized Expos and Horticultural Expos has been continuous, with the Thai pavilion receiving an award for its theme development at Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. Thailand organized Horticultural Expo 2006-7 — Royal Flora Ratchapruek — in the city of Chiang Mai.
Expos are global events that explore a chosen theme through engaging and immersive discoveries. Among the different categories of Expos, Specialized Expos are designed to respond to a precise challenge facing humanity and may take place in the interval between two World Expos. Specialized Expos are limited in terms of duration — lasting up to three months — and space — with the site not exceeding 25 hectares (61.7 acres). The exhibition site is entirely built by the Organizer, Participants being provided with pavilion space.
The most recent Specialized Expo, Expo 2017 Astana, took place in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, under the theme “Future Energy,” and welcomed almost 4 million visitors.