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Aussies cut the ribbon

AUSTRALIA'S Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith presided over the ribbon-cutting formal opening of the country's Expo pavilion yesterday.

"The pavilion has received almost 500,000 visitors since May 1," Smith said. "It is a unique opportunity to showcase our country and its culture to an estimated 7 million Chinese visitors."

On the other hand, he said the pavilion was also the workplace for an energetic team of bilingual staff from Australia.

"The pavilion presents sparkling concepts of Australian cities," he added. "We will continue to conduct comprehensive business programs in China and develop people-to-people links."

The event featured the issue of custom-made first-day covers of the pavilion, which were available in the retail area.

A troupe featuring six performers from Australia will be introduced to entertain people waiting in the long queue. They will wear big costumes in the images of cartoon characters, seagulls and cows.

They will perform four 30 minute shows a day for the next fortnight outside the pavilion.

With a theme of "ImagiNation," the pavilion is divided into three distinct but inter-related sections labelled "Journey," "Discover" and "Enjoy." Incorporating almost every aspect of Australian life, it is one of the most popular pavilions in the Expo site's Zone B.


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