World Expo to start trial operation on April 20

Updated: 2010-03-31 02:50
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SHANGHAI - The Shanghai World Expo will start trial operation on April 20 with the participation of about 70 percent of the pavilions, the organizer said Tuesday.

In some previous sessions of World Expo, about 10 percent to 20 percent of pavilions had failed to open on schedule, but the organizer said such a situation will not happen in Shanghai.

"We will go all out to reduce the number of pavilions that are unable to open on schedule," Yang Xiong, executive vice mayor of Shanghai and executive deputy director of the Executive Committee for Shanghai World Expo, told reporters.

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"It is predicted that the number of such pavilions will be much lower than 10 percent of the total," he said.

The Shanghai World Expo, to run from May 1 to October 31, will draw 70 million visitors, the organizer has forecast.

Yang said the organizer will try to make both ends meet in hosting the Expo.

"We are not aiming for making a profit," he said.

To date, a total of 242 countries and international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Expo, and 13,000 journalists from around the world have applied for covering the event.

Also Tuesday, Mark Germyn, chief operating officer of US Pavilion, told reporters that the US Pavilion will participate in the Expo's trial operation.

The US pavilion resembles an eagle, the icon of America, with the theme of Rising to the Challenge, he said.

"It will focus on lifestyle, health, science and technology, and innovation," he said.

He said the US Pavilion covers 6,000 square meters, and it was completely funded by private enterprises with a budget of 61.5 million dollars.

He predicted that the number of visitors to the US Pavilion will reach 6 million, or 35,000 every day.

More than 200 volunteers will work at the pavilion during the Expo, and 185 are students from different American states, he said.

"They can all speak fluent Chinese," he added.