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Shanghai World Expo Pushes Fiscal Restraint
Update: 8/14/2008 2:47:00 AM Source: Shanghai Hotels


Although the overall budget for Shanghai World Expo totals 28.6 billion yuan (US$4.17 billion), emphasis will be placed on fiscal responsibility.

Construction would take up 18 billion yuan of the budget and the rest would be used for operational costs, Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, told a press conference in the city yesterday.

Organizers would try to offset the operational costs via ticket sales and marketing and would not pursue profits in hosting the Expo, which was "against the principle of the event," Hong said.

The first tickets for the Expo are set to be released on September 28 for group visitors who are encouraged to see the 5.28-square-kilometer Expo site at night to avoid overcrowding in the day.

A general Expo ticket will be priced at 160 yuan.

Organizers would start recruiting volunteers next May and those speaking less popular languages or specializing in serving the disabled were particularly sought for the 2010 Expo, Hong said.

He said only a small number of pavilions with innovative design and eco-friendly material would be retained after the event. The others would be dismantled in line with the regulations of the International Exhibitions Bureau.

Hong said 10 percent of the Expo site would be green belts and eco-friendly material would be to the fore.

Restaurants will occupy more than 100,000 square meters, and organizers will team up with industrial and business-management authorities to monitor food quality.

Preparation for the 2010 event was running smoothly as 214 countries and organizations had confirmed their participation, Hong said. Sixty had signed official participation contracts.

Construction on the five permanent structures - China Pavilion, Theme Pavilion, Expo Center, Performance Center and Expo Boulevard - were well underway, and Hong said the first batch of plots would soon be handed over to participants for design and erection.

Expo staff were stepping up efforts in working out the exhibition plans of the China Pavilion and Theme Pavilion as well as the format of the opening and closing ceremonies, Hong said. These should be finalized by year's end.

Organizers expected the Shanghai Expo to play a significant role in promoting the concept of sustainable development as well as civilized behavior among people, which was much more important than boosting China's gross domestic product, Hong said.

Organizers will learn from the security measures of the Beijing Olympics and adopt practices of previous Expos to ensure safety.

The Shanghai Expo will embrace a 600-day countdown beginning on September 8.

Editor: canton fair

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