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Belgium Looks to Showcase

2009. 19 May

( Participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo is very important for Belgium, Belgian Minister for Economic Affairs Vincent Van Quickenborne said on Monday in Brussels.

Speaking at a ceremony to unveil the design of the Belgian pavilion, Van Quickenborne said that the Expo, which opens on May 1 next year, will provide a unique opportunity for Belgium to illustrate the theme of "Better City, Better Life" and demonstrate the country's innovative approaches to answering many of the challenges facing humanity today.

"With 167 countries and 27 international organizations participating, the Shanghai World Expo will be the largest ever and is expected to attract 70 million visitors," he said.

"It is important for us, and also for the European Union (EU), to take part in the Expo," the minister said.

The pavilion covers 5,250 square meters, of which 1,000 square meters are to be used by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation EU.

Van Quickenborne said he hopes the pavilion will reinforce Belgium's image as "the heart of the EU."

He said Belgium will highlight the concept of "green economy" at the 2010 World Expo. "The restaurant in our pavilion will be zero emission. We will also present energy-saving, environmentally friendly technologies and products, such as electric cars," he said.

"You will be amazed at what we have for the future," the minister said. He expressed the hope that Chinese visitors, after touring the Belgian pavilion, will visit Belgium and enjoy the world-renowned beer and chocolate here.

Leo Delcroix , Belgium's deputy commissioner for the Shanghai World Expo, said the design of the pavilion was inspired by neurons -- its unique shape is visually attractive to the audience, and its connotation coincides with Belgium's key role as the EU's "nerve center" and the country's tradition of promoting cultural exchange and integration.

The pavilion will be built of mainly recyclable materials to illustrate Belgium's commitment to people living in harmony with the environment, he said.

The main body of the Belgian pavilion will be completed by the end of this year.