Qatari authorities met with a former World Trade Organisation (WTO) official, who was in Doha yesterday to promote France’s bid to organise the World Exposition 2025.
Former WTO director general Pacal Lamy, who is France’s delegate for the 2025 Expo bid, met with several Qatari officials, particularly in the foreign affairs, economy and tourism sectors. 
He said the expo would be an opportunity for Qatar “to showcase and expose its own branding and international marketing” to roughly 30mn Europeans, including the French, and 10bn non-Europeans.
“We know that Qatar has a very clear strategy to brand itself internationally; that’s why it has organised a series of events, including the country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022,” Lamy told reporters at a press conference held in Doha yesterday.
Lamy also said his meeting with Qatari officials yesterday also touched on political and diplomatic bilateral relationships between Qatar and France, which, he stressed, remains “very strong.”
“We have a very strong, longstanding, constant, high-quality relationship with Qatar, whether it’s politics or business. 
“The recent visit of President Emmanuel Macron to Qatar in December gave an occasion for a very fruitful exchange with His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani…and this visit was one occasion to display how much and how many topics we have in common,” Lamy pointed out.
Lamy said France is competing with three other cities for the bid to organise the 2025 World Expo: Osaka, Japan; Yekaterinburg, Russia; and Baku, Azerbaijan. He said 170 delegates representing member countries of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) will elect the host country of the 2025 World Expo in November this year.
“France’s candidacy for 2025 dates back to 2012, rooted in the desire of a handful of entrepreneurs, elected officials, cultural stakeholders and academics to organise a World Expo to make France a forum for dialogue, progress, and innovation once more, as the digital revolution advances,” according to a primer on the Expo 2025 Grand France Paris.
With the theme, ‘Knowledge to share, planet to care’, the expo is focused on the future and on the youth. 
“It invites every territory and country, from the smallest to the largest, to share part of its knowledge, expertise, or culture with the world in support of our common good: the planet,” the primer said.
Lamy said the expo will feature a 110-hectare ‘Global Village’, to be located on the Paris-Saclay campus, which is home to 15% French research, 65,000 students and 15,000 researchers, and hosts two Nobel Prize laureates and four Fields Medals holders.
Aside from the ‘Global Village’, the expo will also showcase ‘The Globe’, a reproduction of the planet scaled to 1:75,000 to explore the world; “reusable” modular national pavilions for more than 190 countries and organisations; and gardens and public spaces.