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Local preparations for Expo going well

2010. 16 February

Moffat Mamu
( The country's preparation for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, is well underway.

Michael Tokuru, Chairman of the Solomon Islands Expo 2010 Organising Committee, confirmed this last week.

"The local organising committee is now reaching its final stages of preparation," Mr Tokuru said.

The World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, will take place for six months from May to October 2010.

As of last week the organising committee has been collecting and procuring exhibition items and other materials for shipment to Shanghai by the end of this month.

"Travel iteneraries for an advance team to inspect the Solomon Islands booth and the Expo staff to attend training at the World Expo ahead of the opening on 1 May 2010 is being organised.

"A briefing for the Expo staff will be conducted soon," Mr Tokuru added.

Solomon Islands participation at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, was made possible under the Leading Participation Agreement for South Pacific Joint Pavilion 2007 and the Financial Assistance Agreement 2007 offered by China to all member countries of the South Pacific Forum through the South Pacific Tourism Organisation based in Suva, Fiji.

Mr Tokuru said government, through the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, also assisted by providing funds to cover internal costs not covered under the agreements.

The chairman said the country's theme for the World Expo 2010, 'Culture and Nature in Harmony for a Better Life' blends well with the major theme for the Shanghai World Expo 2010, 'Better City, Better Life'.

Mr Tokuru is delighted that in line with its theme for the World Expo 2010, Solomon Islands will have the opportunity to showcase the country's rich cultures and traditions, tourism products and potential, trade products, and investment opportunities available here to 70 million people from 211 countries and international organisations who have confirmed their participation at the World Expo 2010.

He said at the Solomon Islands booth within the Pacific Pavilion, the country will exhibit a wide range of cultural items including carvings, shell money, handicrafts, local paintings; trade products including local beer, canned tuna, virgin coconut oils, local spices, sample timber products, philatelic products; and tourism promotional materials and audio/video shows.

"The highlight of the world event for Solomon Islands will be the country's national day celebration which will be held on 27 July 2010," he said.

On this day, Solomon Islands will be the focus of the Pacific Pavilion and the international and local media.

Mr Tokuru explained that the programme for the national day will include the raising of Solomon Islands national flag, playing of national anthem, speeches, product giveaways, trade symposium and live entertainment.

"As part of its preparation for the national day, Solomon Islands will bring a local panpipe group to the World Expo to provide panpipe music; dances and entertainment live on stage at the Pacific Pavilion prior to and during its national day celebration.

"It will also bring local artisans who will be demonstrating the art of shell money-making, traditional weaving, wood carving, and contemporary painting," he said.

Mr Tokuru is anticipating the national day will bring maximum media coverage in China and the world through the international media as well as our own local media.

Three local journalists have been selected to cover the Solomon Islands National Day and events.

An official delegation from Solomon Islands will travel to Shanghai in July to attend the Solomon Islands national day.