History of Poland’s presence at World Expositions

Published: September 8, 2021

Economic success, awards and prestige - this is the 150-year history of Poland’s participation in World Expositions in brief

For 170 years, World Expos have been the venue for the most important international events and the driving force behind the economic development of countries. Poland has enjoyed glorious moments in the history of World Expositions, with numerous successes and achievements of our companies. At Expo 2020 Dubai, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency will present, on behalf of Poland, such a broad and comprehensive programme for entrepreneurs for the first time in history.

150 years of success for Polish companies

The history of World Exhibitions is 170 years old, and the Great Exhibition in London (1851) is considered to be the first international event organised on such a large scale in history. World Expos is to the economy, culture and science what the Olympic Games or the World Cup are to athletes, namely a unique opportunity to present the national potential. They give countries the best opportunity to develop. Major economic decisions are also made during these events. They are a gateway to new markets and create ideal conditions for promoting the image of countries that share their scientific achievements, innovations and vast knowledge. The organisers aim to surpass previous achievements in the field of technical and architectural solutions, as well as in the momentousness of official ceremonies.

Poland has been participating in World Expos for over 150 years. In 1867, well-known Polish companies: Małecki's piano factory, Maksymilian Fajans' photo studio, and Troetzer's metal tool factory, presented themselves in Paris. Poland received awards at the exhibitions in Vienna (1873), Paris (1878), and Chicago (1893).

The first national pavilions were built in the interwar period. They presented Poland's economic achievements and history, as well as promoted the products of our companies. The last exhibition in which Poland participated before World War II was held in New York, and its theme was "Building the World of Tomorrow". The pavilion was built on an area of 2,000 square metres, with a 50-metre high tower and a monument to Władysław Jagiełło standing at its entrance. After World War II, Poland regularly participated in World Expo, but this did not happen until 1992 in Seville. After the exhibition that took place in Spain, our country participated in the World Expos in Lisbon (1998), Hanover (2000), Aichi (2005), Zaragoza (2008), Shanghai (2010), Milan (2015), and Astana (2017), where Poland received a gold medal for its presentation.

Expo 2020 as the economic capital of the world

Expo 2020 will be a unique event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers from the World Expo Office, in consultation with the participants, decided to postpone it for a year. The fact that this will be the first such event hosted by an Arab country is also of great significance. Dubai will become the economic capital of the world for six months. According to the calculations made by the organisers, the Expo will attract 18 million visitors, who will pay approx. 25 million visits during 182 days. These numbers include top-level state delegations, businessmen looking for new contracts, tourists, and families with children. Poland wants to take advantage of this.

Polish Investment and Trade Agency with a comprehensive economic programme for Polish companies

The Polish Investment and Trade Agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Development and Technology is responsible for Poland's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai. The institution builds and strengthens the image of Poland abroad, which translates into specific actions supporting the export of Polish companies and creating economic conditions that attract new investors. The agency, in collaboration with a number of institutions, has prepared a special economic programme for entrepreneurs at Expo 2020 Dubai. It comprises numerous support tools and programmes, resulting in 1,000 events that are planned for 6 months. Entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to participate in the Go to Brand Expo 2020 programmes, Partnership Programme, Economic Forums, business meetings, webinars broadening the knowledge of foreign markets, and seminars promoting Poland as a country worth investing in.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The Polish Pavilion will serve as the main venue for economic events and a vehicle for information about Poland. The main slogan of our presentation is "Poland. Creativity inspired by nature - Polska. Kreatywność inspirowana naturą". Creativity will be presented as a characteristic of Poland and a source of economic, scientific, cultural and social success.

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