What is the BIE?

About BIE

Bureau International des Expositions is an intergovernmental organization created to supervise international exhibitions falling under the jurisdiction of the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions. 


– Background –

Following the successful expo in London, UK in 1851, the number of countries seeking to host international expositions increased causing a rift between the host and participating countries. At the Berlin Diplomatic Conference in 1912, France led discussions on establishing an international organization, but talks were dispelled with the outbreak of World War I. Finally, in 1928, France initiated an agreement with the countries of the world for the establishment of an international body, and thus the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) was founded in 1931.


– Emblem –


The emblem, the official symbol of the Expo organization, was chosen at the plenary session of the Administration Council in November 1969. The emblem consists of a circle, which symbolizes friendship. Inside the circle is a succession of navy blue waves progressing towards the horizon to suggest the forward motion of humanity. It was unveiled at the 1970 Osaka International Exhibition for the very first time.


– Organization –

  • Major bodies within the BIE include the General Assembly, the Presidential Board, and the Secretariat.

    The General Assembly, the supreme decision-making organ, is held twice a year. Delegates who represent their respective governments vote on major decisions such as the host country of upcoming Expositions. Each member country is entitled to one vote.

    The Presidential Board comprises one President and four Vice-Presidents who also chair the specialized committees within the BIE: the Executive Committee, the Regulations Committee, the Administration and Budget Committee, and the Information and Communication Committee.


  • Current President: Jean-Pierre Lafon, France (Elected in Nov. 2007)
    Secretary General: Vicente González Loscertales, Spain.


– BIE Accredited World Expos –

Accredited vs. Non-accredited Expos

Types of BIE Accredited Expos


* Expos were categorized into general expositions and specialized expositions prior to the 1998 Lisbon Expo.


– List of Member States –

Asia(29), Europe(45), Middle East(14), Africa(37), Americas(32)

  • Europe

Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Romania, Monaco, Malta, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Andorra, Iceland, Austria, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Great Britain, Italy, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Croatia, Turkey, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Albania, Estonia, Lithuania, Republic of Serbia.

  • Americas

Guyana, Granada, Nicaragua, Dominica, Barbados, Bahamas, Venezuela, Belize, Brazil, Surinam, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Panama, Dominican Republic, Chile.

  • Asia

Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, Australia, Nauru, Palau, Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, Nepal, Tonga, Timor-Leste.

  • Middle East

Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya.

  • Africa

Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, Algeria, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Comoros, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Guinea, Congo, Liberia, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Eritrea, Central Africa, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Mauritius.