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April 1, 2010

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Grand return to world stage

THE World Expo 2010 Shanghai symbolizes China's astounding progress, particularly in the past 30 years since the country's opening-up, and will provide a showcase for Shanghai as a leading global city.

I believe that the Expo 2010 will symbolize three transformations that are today shaping our world: globalization, urbanization and the re-emergence of China. The city of Shanghai is very much at the center of these processes, and there could not have been a more appropriate locale for this year's Expo.

The theme of Expo - "Better City, Better Life" - is exceptionally timely and relevant to today's globalizing and urbanizing world.

We are in a world where virtually all population growth will take place in cities, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. By about 2030, four out of five of the world's urban dwellers will live in the developing world's towns and cities. In Asia and Africa, this growth will signal a major shift to urban growth, changing a millennia-long pattern.

In order to build a sustainable future in our rapidly urbanizing world, we will need to harness the best in science, technology and urban engineering. With priority being placed on ecological design, pollution control, green construction, management and transport, the Shanghai World Expo gives us a much-needed showcase for sustainable urban lifestyles. The various national pavilions will present innovative ways to conserve energy, water and resources that will help us live in harmony with the planet.

The need for this is particularly urgent given the challenges of global climate change, an issue which HSBC considers to be one of the most important challenges the world faces in the 21st century. We make every effort to embrace sustainable practices in our business, both globally and in Shanghai - a city we consider our birthplace and home.

HSBC China is a leading supporter of the Shanghai government's urban environmental efforts. The bank is sponsor to a series of green initiatives by the Shanghai Landscaping Office, including the upkeep of the Yanfu Community Park which covers an area of 20,000 square meters in central Shanghai, and also of 10,000 square meters of wetland in the Paotaiwan Wetland Forest Park. The largest natural wetland park in Shanghai, Paotaiwan Wetland Forest Park covers 50 hectares and is home to many varieties of aquatic plants, waterfowl and migratory birds.

(This message has been abridged to suit space limitations.)


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