The United States has made a breakthrough in its attempts to raise funds for its pavilion at the 2010 World Expo and could commit to the event by the end of this month, said organizers in the city.
The U.S. had finalized its conceptual design and was expected to make a "clear move" soon, Huang Jianzhi, deputy director-general for the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination (BSWEC), was quoted as saying by Saturday's China Daily.
He did not elaborate as to what kind of breakthrough the non-profit, non-governmental organization charged with finding cash for the pavilion had made.
However, Zhou Jun, director of the BSWEC exhibition department, said, "We hoped the U.S. can start construction early, so they can have enough time to make their pavilion better. Making the exhibition the best ever is our priority."
It is unknown how much the U.S. is expected to spend on the fair, although Britain and France are expected to outlay up to 50 million U.S. dollars each on construction of their pavilions and operations costs.
Zhou said a recent expo promotion targeted at multinationals living in China, jointly organized by the BSWEC and the United States, had been well received. But he dismissed media reports suggesting Shanghai was considering offering the U.S. an interest-free loan, adding, "There is no such plan."
So far 233 nations and international organizations have signed up to attend the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, with the United States, the Principality of Andorra and Columbia the only countries that have diplomatic ties with China yet to seal the deal.