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March 8, 2010

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Forward thinking on cities

There is no time in China's history where the focus on "Better City, Better Life" is more appropriate. The urgent issues our global cities face will benefit from the foresight and thoughtfulness exhibited in the unique forum of World Expo Shanghai 2010.

The theme of the Expo, to encourage the use of innovation and renewable resources to ensure the sustainable development of our cities, provides insight into the latest thinking on urban development into the next century.

I welcome the contribution the Shanghai World Expo will make to peaceful interaction between countries working to provide forward thinking to help solve many of the difficult issues our cities will face in the coming years.

The Shanghai World Expo will build on China's superb performance in hosting a most spectacular Olympic Game. Organizing another stellar event will solidify China's reputation as having the ability to deliver some of the world's most important events.

The Shanghai World Expo has taken care to preserve the historic buildings, provide open space and use the latest technology and building materials.

The result will be a spectacular showcase for the world's latest innovations in science, culture and human development. This is a commendable feat. I encourage visitors to explore the implications for urban living demonstrated by the many creative exhibitions of culture, design, and building materials.

The vibrancy of Shanghai as a business capital of China where foreign and local companies have built businesses is a fitting location for the Expo.

Visitors will experience the vibrancy of culture and business when walking on the streets of Shanghai. It is a city that has led openness and reform in China, demonstrating its ability to "provide a powerful and lasting pilot example of sustainable and harmonious urban living," an Expo value.

China Pavilion, which includes demonstrations of the latest urban design and development, will provide living examples of the latest thinking on urban issues. It represents China's history and the leadership role it must take in the global economy going forward.

With more than 40 countries, including Pakistan, hosting pavilions, there is no doubt that the expected 70 million visitors will experience a variety of insights and planning on urban issues and the use of our globe's scare resources.

The Expo has invited over 200 organizations and countries to participate. This extensive participation will enable the Expo to notably contribute to the cross-cultural dialogue essential to sharing best practices and thinking on urban development and sustainability.

The exhibitions' interaction capability through use of the Internet will bring the Expo to the world in a way that has never been done on such a scale. It allows millions of people from around the world to benefit from the unique exposition that builds on a history of Expos for over 151 years.

The Shanghai World Expo will help urban planners focus on the limits we face with our global resources. Exploring new sources of energy and renewable resources, the exhibits will help us, as individuals and countries, think about how we can contribute to securing our future in a sustainable way.

China undoubtedly will be a leader in this innovation to respond to the pressing challenges facing the significant movement to urban centers.

With a focus on innovation, China can become the manufacturing and technological leader bringing solutions to urban planning and development that be used globally. Since China can use its own environment as a laboratory, China will be able to develop leading-edge responses to global needs.

As the size of our global cities continues to increase, we are tasked with finding new ways to accommodate sustainable future development. Some of the problems associated with this massive explosion in urban growth - including health care, education, disenfranchisement, job creation, food, water, sanitation and transportation - will require renewed leadership and creative decision-making to overcome the pressure that growth will put on existing resources and capacity.

Sharing global insight into these difficult issues through the Expo will make an important contribution to finding solutions to these ever increasingly strains of urban growth.

The Shanghai World Expo's program is reaching new heights in bringing together the future thinking on global urban potential with the need to conserve our scarce resources.

I am confident the Expo will deliver an important contribution to these pressing issues and highlight China's leadership role in contributing to the next generation of urban cities and sustainable development.

China and Pakistan's long-standing friendship has promoted the cause of global peace, prosperity and development. As a friend of China, I am proud of what China has achieved and its future potential.

I hope visitors to the Expo in Shanghai will enjoy the experience and see how they can contribute their part to the issues facing the next century.

I look forward to participating in this important showcase for our future.


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