Interview: Shanghai Expo great success: Austrian business leader

08:38, November 01, 2010      

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The Shanghai World Expo that concluded on Sunday was a great success and provided a platform for cultural, economic and technological exchange, said an Austrian business leader.

With its orderliness and professionalism, the expo in Shanghai gave Austria an opportunity to introduce itself to China and the rest of the world, Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Austria opened its national pavilion during the expo, though it's a small country with an area of about 80,000 square kilometers and a population of only 8.2 million, he said.

More than 100 Austrian companies and educational and academic institutions had attended the exhibitions in Shanghai, some of which belonged to the culture and tourism industry, while others came from high technology industries such as environmental protection, new energy, transportation and urban construction.

Austrian statistics show a total of nearly 3.3 million visitors had visited the Austrian national pavilion during the expo. That figure far exceeded the number of tourists visiting the most famous scenic spot of Austria: Vienna Schoenbrunn, which attracted 1.8 million visitors last year.

Leitl said the national pavilion of Austria in Shanghai used multimedia technology and other high-tech means to allow visitors not only to get an extraordinary experience of the beautiful Austrian scenery, including snow-capped mountains, the forest, crystal-clear rivers and lakes, but also to enjoy its charming culture and modern economy and technology.

"We are quite satisfied with the exhibitions at the Austrian national pavilion. Austria had a successful demonstration not only of its traditions, featured by music, culture and tourism, but also of its economy, science and technology, showing China and the rest of the world other sides of Austria," he said.

The Shanghai Expo was also an opportunity for Austrian companies to introduce themselves to the world, said Leitl.

During the expo, Austrian enterprises have developed relationships with a lot of partners from China and other countries, and these links would continue in the future, he said.

He also said as president of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, he would visit China in 2011 to consolidate the relationship between Austrian and Chinese enterprises, and to promote further development of bilateral cooperation.

He mentioned his chamber of commerce "really feels proud of building economic relations with China, as China is a big country with a large population and many opportunities. We hope to make some achievements, as we also welcome the Chinese people to come to Austria."

He stressed Austria has already established seven organizations in China for foreign economic cooperation, and they would be "more active" after the expo.

During the interview, Leitl expressed his appreciation of China's development plan for the country's west, saying the government of Austria and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce would also make a positive response to the strategy of developing China's inland.

Leitl said the Shanghai World Expo is "a great success to China."

"It offers every one around the world a better understanding of China and her achievements. It also shows that China is one of the most reliable and serious economic partners in the world."



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