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China is the largest developing
nation in the world, with the
highest growth potential. Over the
past 20 years, China has come a
long way. The city of Shanghai, in
particular, has seen tremendous
development. One of the four most
rapidly developing cities in the
world, Shanghai is fast evolving
into a business capital and                 Shanghai: tremendous development
cosmopolitan city. The quality of
life in the city has also risen.          of writing. Spain, Italy and Canada
Against this backdrop of social           are among those who have
and economic success, Shanghai            submitted proposals for the
won the bid to host World Expo            consideration of the Organizing
2010,     becoming        the    first    Committee.         The     proposed
developing nation in its 150 years        duration for the Expo spans from
of history to do so.                      1st May to 31st October 2010.

The World Expo is to Shanghai             During this period, the entire
what the Olympics is to Beijing.          city of Shanghai will be put on
Dubbed the “Economic Olympics”,           display for all the visitors as
World Expos are highly profitable         well as participants of the Expo
and can be a big catalyst to the          to see and experience for
development of a city.                    themselves         the   extent      of
                                          Shanghai and China’s progress.
This exhibition is to be held at a site   It is also an opportunity to
in Pudong. The design of the site         foster greater cross-cultural
is yet to be confirmed at the time        understanding, expand inter-

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national communications and                 The form and format of display
China’s presence in the global              will vary from company to
community.                                  company. Each is responsible for
                                            the layout and design of its own
Within the 4 sq km exhibition site          exhibition space as well as the
strategically situated along the            mode of presentation. This can
Huangpu River, a technological              range from demonstrations of
wonderland will be created in               technology products by company
which each nation presents their            representatives, to stimulation
interpretation of the central theme,        rides to hands-on trial by visitors.
“Better     City,    Better     Life”.      Visual aids in the form of charts,
Companies from every invited                or brochures will also be provided.
country will showcase the latest            Most organizations will include
in    their      scientific       and       multimedia shows and other
technological innovations.                  atypical forms of exhibition to give
                                            the visitor a unique and interesting
                                            experience. In addition to its main
                                            objectives of educating via
                                            entertaining, the World Expo is
                                            also a valuable channel for large-
                                            scale marketing. Multinationals
                                            like Nokia and Siemens have
                                            launched a couple of their latest
                                            models     during    such    fairs,
                                            generating much hype and free
                                            publicity due to the media
                                            attention surrounding the event.

                                            Historical Overview
                                            The first World Fair was held in
Sending a powerful message to the world     London, England, in 1851. Then the

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                                           innovations        and   scientific
                                           breakthroughs. Each event has a
                                           specific theme reflecting the
                                           hopes and realities of their times
                                           and all who participate are
                                           offered a taste of life outside their
                                           own community.

                                           These exhibitions are future-
                                           oriented and aspire to find new
                                           ways of advancing human
                                           development. One of the primary
                                           goals of such expositions is to
A land of colour and promise               educate. Held in the spirit of
                                           sharing and exchange, this event
most powerful country in the world,        has lofty goals to encourage
the British showcased their products       greater understanding and hence
and manufacturing processes and            appreciation of different cultures
invited other countries to participate     and ways of life, fostering a
in the exhibition. Later on, this          greater degree of cooperation and
evolved      into    a    large-scale      rapport among nations. More
international non-profit event to          than the Olympics or the United
promote economic, scientific and           Nations,     the    World    Expos
technological progress.                    expound      the    principle     of
                                           universality because anyone,
Vision                                     regardless of skill, abilities or
The series of World Expositions            profession, can participate.
is a celebration of the human
spirit, articulating people’s              World Expos seek also to
ideals, dreams and desires, and            entertain. Over the years, each
showcasing their achievements,             event has found new ways to

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achieve this, inspiring a whole        loftier goals of a World Expo.
series of retail and entertainment     Everything else, from the design of
concepts prevalent today, like         the site, to the exhibitions, to their
department stores, theme parks         marketing, stems from the theme.
and holiday villages.
                                       Previous themes have centered
Activities                             around major issues, activities or
A World Expo typically lasts six       events in a city. Shanghai Expo
months. During that time, a host       2010 will focus on “Better City,
of    activities   will   be    run    Better Life”, also the motto of the
highlighting the theme of the Expo     city, a poignant theme reflecting
as well as the distinctive traits of   the yearning of Shanghainese,
each nation or organization.           China     and    the   developing
Exhibitions, shows, cultural           countries at large for a better
activities and forums will be held     tomorrow. The central issue of
throughout the site. To date, 24       urban life and its associated
cities in 13 countries have hosted     problems is also highly relevant to
the World Expo.                        the developed world.

Theming                                Bidding
The     concept     of    themed       World Expos are highly popular
attractions so popular today           international events. Because of
originated from the world fairs.       its extensive nature, the host
Theming was and continues to           nation stands to reap tremendous
be one of the most important           economic and social gains.
aspects of an event. A good            Business opportunities abound
theme has to be both a reflection      and tourism is a prime motivator.
of    issues   central     to   the    Hence, many countries compete
development of the city at that        for the right to host the next
point in time as well as of the        World Expo.


The Application Process
An official notification of intent should be submitted to the BIE not
earlier than nine years before the opening date of the next exhibit
with an accompanying payment of 10% of the registration fee. The
opening and closing dates, theme of the exhibit and legal status of
the Organization Committee must also be included in the bid.
Six months following the initial submission, the BIE will conduct
investigations to ascertain the feasibility of the proposals. Each inquiry
will be conducted by several members of the BIE and all costs shall
be borne by the organizers of the exhibit. The focus will be on the
theme of the exhibit and its definition, the opening date, and duration;
the logistical capabilities of the host nation in terms of location, area,
and financial guarantees; the policies granted to exhibitors, attitude
of the authorities and interested parties and the expected reach of
the exhibit in terms of number of visitors.
When more than one country bids for the right to host a World Expo
and all preparation works meet the requirements of the BIE, the
selection will be subject to a secret ballot. A bidding country requires
a 2/3 majority vote to win. Failing that, a second round of votes will
be conducted after eliminating the country with the least number of
votes in the first round. The same criteria apply and a 2/3 majority is
needed. Successive rounds will be held until only two countries are
left. In that final round, the country with the higher number of votes
will win the bid.
Upon notification, the winning country must submit a formal application
to register the exhibit at least five years before the opening date. This is
also the time when the nation officially assumes the responsibility to
meet BIE standards to ensure a smooth World Expo. Invitations will
then be sent to other countries through diplomatic channels and the
host country shall then pay the remaining 90% of the registration fee.

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The Bureau of International           case of Shanghai, the tourism
Expositions (BIE) was formed in       sector is one of the fastest
1928 by thirty-one nations to         growing sectors of the economy.
regulate the fairs. Headquartered     The number of tourists has been
in Paris, France, it oversees the     increasing, on average, at a rate
bidding process.                      of 8% every year since 1992 and
                                      this figure had risen sharply in
Economic Implications and             2001. Based on this, it has been
Benefits                              postulated that Shanghai will be
The success of Shanghai in its bid    able to attract 130 to 150 million
for World Expo 2010 will go a long    tourists in 2010, out of which 3.6
way towards promoting Shanghai        to 3.8 million will come from
as an international metropolis,       abroad. Come 2010, at least 70
which fits in perfectly with the      million visitors are expected to
strategic goal of the city. The       attend the Expo, a further boost
economic implications of this are     to the tourism industry.
also great. Hosting the event will
provide a strong impetus for rapid    According to the China Youth
growth. The pace of infrastructure    Daily, it is estimated that direct
development, especially of the        income from this sector will hit
transportation network will be        RMB 9.11 billion yuan (USD 110
sped up, and Shanghai’s service       million). Admission fees alone will
industry (tourism in particular)      rake in 7.3 billion while sale of food
will see tremendous expansion.        and beverages will contribute 1.3
With such attractive conditions,      million. The World Tourism
more foreign investments are          Organisation predicts that each
expected for flow into the country.   RMB spent on direct tourism
                                      income will further generate RMB
Tourism industry                      4.3 yuan in related industries such
The World Expo will have a huge       as transportation, electricity and
direct impact on tourism. In the      telecommunications.

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Showcasing superb architecture

There will be a continuous flow of     As seen from past experience,
domestic and international tourists    (the   Flower    Exhibition    in
throughout the six months of the       Kunming 1999), tourism has
exhibition. 70% of them will visit     generated income as much as
other places in China or other parts   RMB 16.9 billion yuan and the
of Asia. The economic benefits of      rate of growth for some of the
the World Expo hence trickle down      economic indicators exceeded
to the rest of China and the region    30%. Shanghai’s strategic location
at large. It is an excellent           at the head of Yangtse will also
opportunity for the tour operators     encourage       East      China’s
of Shanghai and the neighbouring       participation in the event,
areas to cooperate and develop         fuelling the economic growth of
new     tourism     products     and   the country as a whole.
strengthen regional ties.

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Transport industry                      the city and neighbouring regions.
The main concern of organising the      This network will also link up cities
World Expo lies in transportation.      in the Yangtse River Delta region.
With a massive inflow of visitors       Besides revamping their public
expected in 2010, the current           transport network, Tour-Guide
chaotic traffic system in Shanghai      Center will build 5 sub centers
poses a big problem. It is important    serving 98 road lines as well as set
for Shanghai to ensure that there       up the World Expo Special tour
will not be any hiccups when            route to further enhance the
ferrying the visitors from all over     visitor’s experience.
the city to the venue.
                                        Construction industry
To overcome this problem,               The World Expo is a huge event
Shanghai has worked out a               requiring major construction
transport development plan for the      works prior to the opening date. To
international road-rail-air terminal    host the World Expo, Shanghai will
based       around         Pudong       have to build an exhibition hall
International      Airport     with     with a total area of 24 hectares
Hongqiao Airport playing a              between Lupu and Nanpu Bridge.
supporting role. A high-speed           This new exhibition hall will
railway system which allows for 7       become the largest in China. The
trunk lines running in 5 directions     total    exhibition       area     is
with yearly passenger capacity of       approximately 10 hectares.
45 million trips will be constructed.
This highway will eventually            According to Professor Zhu
become      the    backbone       of    Ronglin, each incremental 1000
Shanghai’s transport system. In         square meters of exhibition space
line with this, Shanghai will also      will generate an estimated 100 jobs.
build an expressway network of          The World Expo in Hanover, for
approximately 650km, covering           example, had created 100,000 jobs


                                     history, China has frequently
                                     been misunderstood. Winning
                                     the right to host the World Expo
                                     also gives Shanghai a valuable
                                     opportunity to present itself to
                                     the world. It is a chance for the
                                     city and its people to let others
                                     gain a deeper understanding of
                                     their rich culture.

                                     The World Expos are held in the
                                     spirit of advancing human
                                     development,         encouraging
More expressways needed              peace and prosperity. Hosting
                                     such an event will have a
Social Implications for Shanghai     significant and positive impact
& China                              on a country’s image and
Five countries vied aggressively     international standing. It is also
for the right to host World Expo     serves as a platform to enhance
2010. The World Expos bring          communications and hence,
more than economic benefits; the     improve bilateral relationships.
social      implications     are
tremendous. Great opportunities      Implications for Other
now lie for China to exhibit its     Developing Countries
achievements to the world.           The door of opportunity has not
                                     only opened for China, it has in fact
Little is known in foreign lands     opened to the whole world
of the Chinese culture. Because      including      the     developing
of the lack of outside contact       countries.    As      the   pioneer
throughout most of its long          successful     bidder       amongst

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developing countries, China            venue. The convergence of
wishes to advance the interest of      companies from all over the world
this group by bridging the gap         will   also    generate      many
between the developed and              networking prospects that are
developing        world   through      previously unexplored.
encouraging greater participation
from the latter. A special unit has    The Long-Term Impact of World
been set up for this purpose. China    Expo 2010
has set aside a fund of USD 100        Securing the right to host World
million to promote the Expo            Expo 2010 has opened up many
amongst      the      developing       doors for Shanghai. It is a big
countries. Part of the fund will       catalyst to growth and the
be   used    to     sponsor   f re e   development of the city dubbed
exposition space, transportation,      ‘the New York of the East’ will see
traveling and accommodation for        dramatic progress. The economic
the participants.                      and social character of Shanghai
                                       will undergo tremendous change.
Non-Monetary Implications for          Business opportunities abound.
Foreign Investors                      World Expo 2010, if successful, will
In the case of the more developed      be a critical turning point in the
countries, the Expo 2010 is a great    evolution of Shanghai into a
occasion    to    showcase    new      bustling business capital.
innovations and technological
breakthroughs. The exhibition
provides huge exposure and serves
as a ‘test’ market to gauge the
reception of the new products.

Although trading inside the fair is
not permitted, uncountable deals
are always concluded outside the


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