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January 26, 2010

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Long history spun from silk

I am delighted that London will be represented at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai. It underlines the already strong ties between our two great cities.

I was in Shanghai a couple of years ago, and it is a thrilling city to visit - traditional architecture set against an ever-developing skyline and buildings that evoke the future.

Like London, Shanghai is a dynamic city, its industries and its people constantly adapting to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

I am sure that the Shanghai World Expo will be a huge success. Hosting such an event exemplifies international exchange and cooperation, a chance to showcase the host city to the world and to learn from other cities.

London hosted the first World Exposition in 1851. I read that a Shanghai merchant, Xu Rongcun, brought 12 packages of self-made Yung Kee Huzhou Silk, which caused a great stir and won gold and silver prizes. So our connections with Shanghai have a long history.

As the mayor of London, I want to build on these ties. We already have a representative in Shanghai, but the Shanghai Expo and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 in London offer a further springboard for future cultural and economic partnerships.

We have a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen trade relationships between London and Chinese businesses.

We worked with the London Development Agency to create an exhibition for the Shanghai Expo focusing on sustainability and London 2012, presenting what our city has to offer the world and to send the message that London is well-placed to come through the current economic conditions. Our city is stable, trusted, ahead of its competitors and one of the world's best places to visit, study in and do business with.

London is bursting with pride to be hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Cultural Olympiad, in 2012. I am confident we will deliver a superb, as well as unique sporting and cultural experience, which will also create a lasting legacy for the people of London.

We learned a huge amount from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and in 2012 we will offer a warm welcome to visitors from China and the rest of the world. I can promise you a wonderful time in London, not only at the Games but at all of the other attractions the city has to offer.

London is an amazing and exciting city, with great theaters and concert halls, museums and art galleries, wonderful architecture and beautiful parks, world-class restaurants, superb shopping and much, much more.

I look forward to London and Shanghai benefiting from our continuing friendship and wish you every success with World Expo 2010!


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