Looking ahead to the 2010 World Expo
    2009-08-05 19:24:21     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

CRI reporter Julianne Page reports from the Australian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo site on Friday, July 14, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

By Julianne Page

Although the 2010 Shanghai World Expo doesn't officially start until May 1st next year, the countdown in Shanghai is well and truly underway.

Billboards promoting this major upcoming event can be seen throughout the city and the Expo mascot "Haibao" is everywhere.

I was recently in Shanghai and fortunate enough to pay a visit to the expo site to see how things are progressing there and in particular how Australia's pavilion is taking shape.

The first thing I noticed about the Expo site was the scale and scope of it- it's huge. In fact this will be the biggest world expo ever held anywhere in the world. So far 194 countries and regions, along with 48 international organisations, have signed a participatory agreement and more are expected to come on board soon.

The Expo site is located at the waterfront area on both sides of Shanghai's Huangpu River and at the moment construction workers and equipment stretch as far as the eye can see. Needless to say, it's an extremely busy place.

Australia is pumping around $83 million Australian dollars into creating its pavilion and ensuring that the nation has a strong presence at Expo. Once Expo begins this pavilion alone is expected to attract over 40,000 visitors each day.

On completion the Australian pavilion will be recognisable by its distinctive shape, colour and design. If you've ever been to the centre of Australia you will instantly recognise the colour of the red deserts in its exterior and the shapes of unusual rock formations, such as Uluru (Ayers rock) and the Olgas, incorporated into its design.

Here visitors will be able to experience uniquely Australian sights, sounds, food, wine and entertainment. There's even a rumour crocodile burgers and kangaroo steaks will be on the menu.

Around 70 million visitors are expected to flock to the Expo site between May 1st and October 31st next year so be prepared and set aside at least a few days to look around, it's going to be bigger than you imagine.

What: Shanghai World Expo 2010

Where: Shanghai, P.R. China

When: May 1st- October 31st, 2010

More information:

Shanghai World Expo 2010 website http://en.expo2010.cn/

Australia pavilion website www.australianpavilion.com

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