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Shanghai World Expo to boost economy

2010. 14 March

( Given all this activity and excitement, what can a successful expo bring to the host city, especially at a time when the whole world is recovering from an economic slowdown?

Shanghai is hosting the first ever World Expo in a developing country.

And the Expo is shaping up to be another development opportunity for China.

Hong Hao, Director-General of World Expo Coordination Bureau, said, "A successful expo will greatly boost the local economy. For example, the Osaka Expo in 1970 enabled Japan's economic takeoff. I believe the 2010 Shanghai Expo will also accelerate economic growth in Shanghai, the Yangtze River Delta, and China as a whole."

Massive infrastructure construction and stimulated consumption are set to drive the local economy. The expo is expected to contribute around 5 percentage points to Shanghai's GDP in 2010. The Yangtze River Delta region will also benefit from a 50 percent rise in investment during the expo year.

Some 70 million visitors from home and abroad, are expected to attend the event. Revenue generated by tickets, food and souvenirs is expected to reach 11 billion yuan. Businesses related to travel and hotels are expected to pull in 80 billion yuan.

But more importantly, analysts see the expo as an opportunity for Shanghai to upgrade its industrial structure.

Sun LiJian, Deputy Dean, School of Economics, Fudan Univeisity, said, "The current financial crisis has forced Shanghai to think deeper about the city's future growth pattern. The city needs to shift its current processing and export-oriented growth model to a more advanced manufacturing and service oriented economy."