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June 6, 2017

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Shanghai set for international skills contest

ABOUT 1,100 participants from 38 countries and regions will participate in the 2017 China International Skills Competition and International Forum on Skills and Development that kicks off in Shanghai and Suzhou today.

The competition that runs until Friday is the largest-ever international skills event to be held in China.

A total of 21 competitive events will be held, including woodworking, flower arrangement, hairdressing, baking, mobile robotics, welding, mechatronics to name just a few.

Besides the forum today, Shanghai will host 15 competitive events, while Suzhou in neighboring Jiangsu Province will stage six events.

There will also be demonstrations of vocational skills in Shanghai like traditional flour-made food items and paper-cutting. Suzhou will also organize exhibitions on Chinese hair embroidery and woodcarvings.

After joining the WorldSkills International (WSI) in October 2010, China has dedicated itself in the development of world skills. It has integrated deeply with WSI’s global family, and is now bidding to hold the 46th WorldSkills Competition (WSC) in 2021 in Shanghai. Its bidding slogan is “New Youth, New Skills, New Dream.”

If China wins the bid, the WorldSkills Competition will be held from September 23 to 26 in 2021. It expects to attract 600,000 participants from home and abroad with an expected viewership of 500 million.

China — and Shanghai — is looking forward to stage the WorldSkills Competition, believing that the competition can be helpful in improving vocational education, training capability and promoting craftsmanship.

With a vibrant economy, active international exchange, complete infrastructure, safe environment and hospitable citizens, Shanghai has rich experience in hosting global competitions backed by a healthy service and logistic industries.

The city has successfully staged many major international conferences, competitions and events, including the 2001 APEC Summit, the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, World Expo 2010 and the CICA Summit 2014.

In addition to that, the city hosts the F1 Chinese Grand Prix, the ATP Shanghai Masters and the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai every year, as well as cultural activities such as Shanghai International Festival of Arts and Shanghai International Film and Television Festival.

Staging these events has given Shanghai plenty of organizational experience, and helped build up infrastructure and facilities necessary for the events. Keeping the principles of conservation and efficiency in mind, Shanghai plans to hold the WorldSkills Competition at its existing facilities.

Participants at this week’s competition will also be able to see some of the facilities that are earmarked to hold the WorldSkills Competition.

The opening and closing ceremonies of 2017 China International Skills Competition will be held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, while the competition will be staged at the World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center.

The Oriental Sports Center covers an area of 34.75 hectares and has a floor space of 188,000 square meters. The venue successfully hosted the 14th FINA World Championships in 2011, the Cup of China International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating, ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup, and the annual festival Artistry on Ice.

The venue will host the closing ceremony of the WorldSkills Competition in 2021 should Shanghai win the bid.

The opening ceremony will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, one of the most important permanent venues of the World Expo 2010.

During the 2010 World Expo, the arena successfully held the closing ceremony and over 200 large-scale performances.

After the expo, it emerged as a world-class center of culture, sports and entertainment in Shanghai. It has hosted a lot of super stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and the Rolling Stones.

With an 18,000-seat multifunctional performance space and advanced equipment, the arena can be a fantastic venue for a splendid opening ceremony for the WorldSkills Competition in 2021.

The competitive events will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) that has four main sections: the exhibition halls, the commercial center, the office buildings and the hotel.

This large complex offers 500,000 square meters of exhibition space, including 400,000 square meters of indoor exhibition space and 100,000 square meters of outdoor display areas. It is large enough to hold both competitions and interactive activities.

The NECC was the venue for the 18th China International Industry Fair, the 2016 Health Industry Summit, the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition and a series of other international exhibitions, affording it a wealth of experience in hosting large-scale international events.

The infrastructure in Shanghai will also make it convenient for participants to travel between their homelands and Shanghai and also to stay in the city.

Shanghai is an aviation hub of the Asia-Pacific region with two international airports with passenger throughput of 100 million last year, ranking it fifth worldwide.

Shanghai is connected by flights to all major destinations worldwide, barring a few in South America. The air network covers 255 cities in the world, thus giving direct access to about 33 WorldSkills International countries, while others can easily reach Shanghai via transfers.

Shanghai is also striving to open new air routes and direct flights to more cities by 2021 that will benefit competitors, experts and delegates who plan to attend the WorldSkills Competition.

Hotels of different levels are also available in Shanghai. By 2016, Shanghai had about 8,415 hotels with 700,000 beds. The number of hotels is expected to reach 9,100 by 2021, offering 750,000 beds.

Hotels in Shanghai are reasonably priced. The average room rate per night is 70 euros for three-star hotels, 100 euros for four-stars and 180 euros for five-stars. Some youth hotels and serviced apartments near the city center and the NECC offer a rate of 30-50 euros per night that can meet diversified demands. Discounts on accommodation packages are usually available.


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