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Expo 2010 preparations in full swing
( 2003-12-19 02:10) (China Daily)

Preparations for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo are well under way, according to a senior official at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"The organizing committee for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo is set to be established soon," Gao Yan, vice-chairman of the council, said yesterday.

"The establishment of the committee is waiting for the approval from the central government, which is expected to come early next year." Gao said.

The move will signal the full-scale launch of the preparatory work for the event, she suggested.

Meanwhile, an initial plan for the expo site and the infrastructure construction, is being generally mapped out, according to the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination, which was set up in October.

The whole expo site will include at least 60 independent exhibition halls designed and built by participating countries, according to bureau official Wang Junyi.

The demolition and relocation work for the 4-square kilometres expo site is scheduled to start next year.

"So it will be a busy year in 2004,'' said Gao Yan, "We are now co-operating closely with Shanghai to arrange all the work ahead.''

The Shanghai Expo will be a golden opportunity for domestic and international investors, according to Wu Jianmin, newly elected chairman of the Bureau of International Exhibitions.

Wu, the first Chinese to chair the bureau, said he would strengthen co-operation with other global organizations to make World Expos beneficial to both developed and developing countries.

The chairman believed the Shanghai World Expo will boost the country's already-booming exhibition industry and the national economy, judging from previous international experience.

The 1970 Osaka World Expo, for example, attracted 64.22 million visitors and contributed an estimated 5 per cent to its annual gross domestic product.

Gao also said China is well prepared to put on a good show at the 2005 Aichi World Expo to be held in Japan.

"Designs for the China Hall at the expo have been confirmed, they are expected to reflect China's economic and cultural progress.''

The hall, one of the largest at the expo, will be constructed next year.

But further details about the hall are yet to be revealed.

"A series of activities such as a China urban forum will be held at the Aichi Expo,'' she added.

The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has organized Chinese delegations to attend world expos over the past 10 years.

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