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January 22, 2010

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BIE boss can't wait for the 2010 event

THE World Expo orchestrator is expecting the Shanghai event will be a history-making platform for cultural and technological exchanges.

"I can't wait to see an excellent Expo as the date approaches," said Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau of International Exhibitions, yesterday in Paris.

Having visited Shanghai several times, the chief of the Paris-based BIE said preparations had entered their final stage with the main pavilions basically completed and interior decorating in progress.

Loscertales is expecting two records to be set - a record number of exhibitors will attract a record number of visitors during the Expo, which will run from May 1 to October 31.

With its slogan "Better City - Better Life," the Shanghai World Expo is also expected to showcase expertise and practice to improve the living standards of nearly half of the world's population currently living in cities.

"We hope this Expo can be a dialogue summit about cities, and each pavilion will lay out tradition as well as innovation to the future," Loscertales said.

"We also hope Shanghai citizens and each visitor can realize through the exhibition that urban planning and construction call for every citizen's participation. Furthermore, we hope all exchanges of experience, innovations and technologies can bring a better life in the future."

The BIE chief said Shanghai is the most dynamic city in the world. Also this will be the first time an Expo has been held in a developing country, and the number of exhibitors from developing countries has already exceeded that of any previous Expo thanks to the attention China has given its developing peers.

Being both a 5,000-year-old civilization and a wellspring of modernization, China offers a notable contrast, the BIE chief observed.

Remarking on the impact of the global financial crisis, the BIE chief said he was pleased that there was no retreat from participation.

"I'm confident that the excellent content in the Expo and high quality architecture will make their mark in history," Loscertales said.

As the Shanghai World Expo is entering its 100-day countdown, the BIE chief appealed to people around the world to make use of this opportunity to get to know a vigorous China.

"I hope they try to understand China, to know that the achievement China made today is not by accident, but a combined result of thousands of years of culture and tradition and the courageous effort of the Chinese people," Loscertales said.


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