On Sunday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman to announce that California will bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Silicon Valley. The announcement was made at the World Expo in Shanghai before the Governor toured the U.S., Austrian and Chinese pavilions. World Expos typically occur every five years and attract exhibits from countries around the globe and bring as many as 70 million visitors. The Governor and Council will work together to bring this prominent international event to the Golden State.
“Shanghai has demonstrated that when you host the World Expo, the world comes to you, and I want the world to come to California. Our state is a leader in entertainment, agriculture, the environment, high-tech, green-tech and bio-tech, and we are ready to showcase our innovation to the world,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “As the hub of innovation, Silicon Valley is the most natural place to hold the Expo, which will promote the international exchange of ideas, create jobs and increase revenues in our state.”
The proposed site is Moffett Field, next to the pristine San Francisco Bay. The area is heavily served by international and local transportation and is surrounded by some of the largest and most respected companies in the world.
“The World Expo is the Olympic Games of the economic, scientific and industrial world, and we think it is time for Silicon Valley to serve as an ambassador for the United States and host this event,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “For 30 years, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley have been the pre-eminent hot spots for the innovation that drives the world’s technological advances. Imagine what a Silicon Valley Expo will look like when we put all of the region’s collective brainpower to work.”
World Expos can generate tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs for host regions. Shanghai’s World Expo will leave the city with an additional $40 billion of roads, subway lines and airport terminals. The net economic impact for the Shanghai Expo has been estimated at $11.6 billion, according to Chen Xinkang, professor of marketing and business management at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
The State of California and the United States will submit their formal Expo 2020 candidacy application in 2011 and the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) – the governing body of World Expositions – will likely announce the winning bid for Expo 2020 at the end of 2012. Currently, the United States is not a member of the BIE. The Bay Area Council plans to work with Congressional Representatives and the U.S. State Department over the next few months to reinstate the U.S. as a contributing member.
The last Expo that was held in the United States was in 1984 in New Orleans.