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200 up and still two years to go
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10:59, April 11, 2008

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The World Expo Shanghai 2010 has achieved a milestone with the number of participants surpassing 200, Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said Thursday.

With the confirmation of Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, and the Republic of Marshall Island in the western Pacific Ocean, 201 countries and international organizations have accepted China's invitation to participate.

"Reaching the 200 mark is just the start of realizing our objective," Hong added. "The organizers will provide better services to participants, making a success in quantity into a success in quality."

The organizers also pledged to attract more than 70 million visitors to the event. World Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany, had a record 172 participants. That record was broken by Shanghai Expo in October, three months earlier than scheduled.

The participation list for Shanghai Expo surpassed 100 by the end of 2006.

Of the participants, 17 have signed contracts with organizers, and more than 50 have confirmed the location of their pavilions. About 10, including Britain, Canada, France, Spain and Switzerland, have unveiled pavilion designs.

The organizers are to search for more participants and will sign participation contracts with more than half of the attendees.

Shanghai Expo will also recruit 16 companies, including nine domestic ones, to build corporate pavilions in the Expo site. Nine pavilions have been reserved.

The event has also chosen up to 55 projects to exhibit in the Urban Best Practices Area, a stage for cities around the world to propose their solutions to urban issues.

Thursday, the World Expo national tour exhibition arrived in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province.

It includes the awards that Hebei's products, including liquor, snuff bottles and stone carvings, won at the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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