Hosting the World Expo will provide a boost for market confidence here, a local researcher said yesterday.
A State Council meeting on preparations for the expo, hosted by Premier Wen Jiabao, on Wednesday called for speeding up the construction of facilities, and asked organizers to provide top quality services to participants.
"As for me, this can be interpreted as a call to rally national support and global wisdom to host the Expo in a thrifty and orderly manner," Qiao Zhaohong, a researcher with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said.
The meeting also called for better IPR (intellectual property rights) protection for both the participants and organizers at the event, which will run from May 1 to Oct 31 next year.
Hosting the Expo, themed "Better City, Better Life", will be a boost for Shanghai's urban construction and planning, Qiao said.
"By holding the expo, Shanghai will improve its urban image," he said.
An official from the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination (BSWEO) said construction of buildings for the event, such as the China Pavilion, is under way, and that a series of programs and activities will be held in the run-up to the event.
Sources from BSWEO said despite the gloomy economic outlook, no participants have asked to withdraw or cut down the scale of their exhibition area.
Instead, most have shown their eagerness to seek global cooperation through the platform of the expo.
As of Feb 5, 185 countries and 46 international organizations had confirmed their attendance, of which 181 have signed contracts.
Xu Jiguo, deputy Party secretary of BSWEO, was quoted by the China News Service yesterday as saying the number of participating countries and international organizations will hit a record high.
In a Feb 5 press briefing in Shanghai, EU Ambassador to China Serge Abou said that EU had confirmed it will participate in the event.
"Normally we don't participate in such events because we concentrate on activities inside Europe.
"But taking into account our partnership with China, and our ties with the Shanghai municipal government, this time we will participate," he said.
All 27 EU member states have confirmed they will take part in the expo.
Source: China Daily