Aerial view of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous city, on Friday showcased its Expo 2020 bid at a symposium attended by delegates of the Paris-based body that will pick the winner in November
This bustling metropolis of 11 million people is competing with the Turkish city of Izmir, Ayutthaya in Thailand, Ekaterinburg in Russia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to host the next Universal Exposition.
The five cities have submitted their bids to the 157 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which will announce the winner in November after a vote.
"Sao Paulo is a cosmopolitan city which shelters and welcomes communities from around the world," Mayor Fernando Haddad told the symposium. "It is a city that celebrates tolerance, peaceful coexistence and this is an very important part of our culture which will influence the final verdict of BIE delegates."
Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer expressed confidence about Sao Paulo's chances, noting that this South American powerhouse of more than 200 million people has already been chosen to host next year's World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics.
And he pledged federal aid, if necessary, to help Brazil's economic capital foot the $3 billion bill -- $9 billion if transport infrastructure projects are included -- for the six-month-long extravaganza.
Last March, Haddad said Sao Paulo's bid was on behalf of the whole of Latin America, which has never staged the event before.
With a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, Sao Paulo, which represents 12 percent of Brazil's GDP, can guarantee the attendance of tens of millions of visitors.
The last World Expo was hosted by the Chinese city of Shanghai in 2010. The Italian city of Milan will stage the next Expo in 2015.
Smaller three-month long "International Expositions" are held in between the five-yearly Universal Expositions.
The first Universal Exposition was staged in London in 1851 and since then they have served to showcase technology, architecture and culture, while attracting visitors to host cities and generating business.