Shanghai Expo Set to Open in May 2010
From May to October 2010, Shanghai will be hosting Shanghai Expo 2010, China’s first-ever World’s Fair. The U.S. pavilion will allow U.S. companies to show their products to a large market in East Asia.
by John Ward
Shanghai, China, will be the site of the Shanghai Expo 2010, a World’s Fair that will be held from May to October 2010. The event’s theme—“Better City, Better Life”—will focus on improving the quality of life in the world’s cities.
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|The U.S. pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, shown here in an artist’s concept, will display four themes: sustainability, teamwork, health, and the Chinese community in the United States. (image courtesy USA Pavilion)
“The expo offers an outstanding opportunity to U.S. companies and organizations to participate in a World’s Fair in one of the most important centers of global commerce and cultural exchange,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in a message sent to U.S. trade associations on June 16, 2009. “I believe it is crucial for the United States to be present along with the other 180 nations participating in this major global event.”
Approximately 70 million visitors are expected to attend the expo, including about 60 million from China. It will be the first time that China has hosted a World’s Fair.
A 150-Year Tradition of Expos
A World’s Fair or exposition is a public event that highlights the culture and industry of individual countries. The fairs are held about once every five years, under the auspices of the International Exhibitions Bureau. The first such international exposition was the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 in London, England. The United States has hosted 17 World’s Fairs, with the most recent one in 1984 in New Orleans.
Four Themes of U.S. Pavilion
Each participating country in an exposition usually builds a national pavilion to represent its people, culture, and businesses to foreign visitors. More than 175 countries and 37 international organizations will have a presence at the Shanghai Expo.
In March 2008, the Department of State authorized USA Pavilion, a private organization, to raise funds to design and build a U.S. pavilion at the fair. The proposed pavilion will display four themes: sustainability, teamwork, health, and the Chinese community in the United States.
A number of major U.S. companies have already signed up as sponsors for the pavilion, including Cargill, Dell, General Electric, 3M, and Yum! Brands. Smaller firms are also receiving special outreach.
According to the pavilion’s organizers, the Shanghai Expo will offer an outstanding venue for U.S. companies to showcase their businesses, culture, and values in one of China’s most dynamic cities and to foster an even stronger friendship between the American and Chinese peoples. It will also demonstrate the commitment of the United States to the Asia–Pacific region and to a positive relationship with China.
John Ward is a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.