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Cheers - Let's celebrate life, responsibly

WHY is Diageo investing money in the UK Pavilion? Diageo, BP, GKN, AstraZeneca and Barclays will each invest 500,000 pounds (US$700,149) in the UK Pavilion for the Expo 2010. Being the world's leading premium drinks group, Diageo takes the participation in World Expo as a "must-do" investment.

Firstly, the culture of premium drinks can be one of the basics of the UK Pavilion. British culture is one of the most famous in the world and one of the most all-inclusive. But when thinking about Britain and drink, people will probably first think of Scotch whisky.

The value of Scotch whiskies stored at Diageo's cellars is worth more that the total value of the gold reserves in the Bank of England. During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Britain in late January, Johnnie Walker and Shui Jing Fang, a Chinese white spirit, were the two drinks on the state banquet.

Secondly, Scotch whiskies match the spirit of World Expo. Scotch whisky is about innovation, energy and creativity. The Expo is a chance to exhibit and exchange, and these elements are also among the most important values of the world event. Enjoying Scotch whisky responsibly can help people celebrate life and make the life better.

Thirdly, Expo provides a great stage for a company to showcase its culture and values. About 50,000 visitors are expected to visit the UK Pavilion every day and organizers expect about 70 million people to visit Expo during the 184-day event. Diageo will take this opportunity to demonstrate its corporate citizenship both in China and the world.

Last, but not least, the corporate purpose of Diageo - "Celebrating life everyday, everywhere" - echoes the "Better City, Better Life" theme of Shanghai Expo. The company has launched many social responsibility programs in China including promoting the "Responsible Drinking" campaign with local traffic police, introducing the "Water of Life" project to Taihu Lake in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, as well as providing relief funds for earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province. All these efforts were to make life better.

In my view, "Better City, Better Life" has two meanings. The first is "people oriented" and the other is "harmony between human and nature." A better life does not mean a more technologically advanced life but a life that make us feel happy; a better city means the city is improved in order to achieve a better life. The Expo gives countries a chance to gather together to review what they have done for our Earth home.


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