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BIE President says Expo to contribute to `social awakening'

INTERNATIONAL Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) President Jean-Pierre Lafon said today he hoped the World Expo Shanghai would contribute to a "social awakening" so that cities may become more sustainable, fairer, safer and more harmonious.

In a speech delivered at the opening ceremony, Jean-Pierre Lafon said this Expo's theme "Better City, Better Life" must drive people to improve the quality of life for the citizens at both developing and developed countries as the majority of the world's population now live in cities.

He said this Expo would show the emergence of China at the beginning of the 21st century.

The expo would "allow the world to form a source of comparison and dialogue" through the presence of the pavilions and by the creation for the first time in a World Expo for cities and regions of the world to show their best practices, Jean-Pierre Lafon said.

He said participants had made the Expo "truly planetary" through the broadcasting of images and forums thanks to the technological progress of today's communication.

He said World Expos, more alive than ever before, were "answering a need of progress, of meetings, of conviviality and dialogue."

The World Expo 2010, the first world exposition hosted by a developing country since the inaugural fair in London in 1851, is expected to attract more than 70 million visitors during its six-month run ending October 31.


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