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No possible attendees quit World Expo due to global economic downturn
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16:44, March 03, 2009

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No possible attendees to the Shanghai World Expo 2010 has announced a quit due to the global economic turmoil, said Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of the Expo's executive committee on Tuesday.

He said 185 countries and 46 international organizations have confirmed to attend the six-month long Expo so far.

"This means Shanghai has met its target of inviting about 200 countries and international organizations taking part in the event," said Zhou, also a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.

Countries such as Iceland, which had suffered greatly from the financial woes, had signed exhibition contracts with the Expo's organizing committee. Iceland planned to use the Expo as an opportunity to rejuvenate its economy, the committee said earlier.

Plans for the sale of the Expo tickets has been finalized, Zhou said. "The first tickets will be sold on March 27 this year."

The benchmark price of the ticket was set at 160 yuan (about 23.39 U.S. dollars), or about 1 percent of the per capita disposable income of urbanites in 2008.

The Expo is on track to be the largest fair of its kind since the first World's Fair, known as the Great Exhibition, the predecessor event of the Expo, was held in London in 1851.

The six-month long Expo, due to be held from May 1 to Oct. 31 next year, is expected to attract 70 million visitors.

"We hope 5 to 10 percent of the visitors are foreigners," he said.

Zhou was here to attend the Second Session of the CPPCC's 11th National Committee, which opens on Tuesday.

A press conference on the Shanghai World Expo 2010 will be held on the sideline of the session.

With the theme of "Better City, Better Life", the Expo will showcase the best examples and ideas about urban development. The organizers will also establish an on-line expo that will allow people around the world access to the Expo.

Source: Xinhua

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