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The revelation of US pavilion in Shanghai EXPO

2009. 16 July

Contributed by Chi Mo
Translated by Liu Xinkan

( On the morning of Jul.10th, Jose Villarreal, the US commissioner general to the Expo2010, finally signed a participation contract with the 2010 Shanghai World Expo organizer, bringing it to the end the suspection of whether US will join in. Earlier, the organizer has saved a space of 6,000 square metre for the US pavilion, but the construction had been delayed for a long time due to the failure of raising funds to meet the US$61 million
budget.          Chinese Version >>

EXPO is a top global event which attracts a great number of countries and international organizations to participate and the major economies attending is particularly appealing. As the superpower of the world’s economy, US has    hosted 14 EXPOs, which ranks first among all the hosts ever. As a result it receives much concern from the other parts of the world. However, the US government seemed to hesitate to confirm its participation in EXPO2010, which makes it full of suspense and leads to the public’s suspection for US statue at the same time. What on earth is the true reason for US’s wavering in declaring to join in EXPO2010?

It turned out that the reason why the United States hung back is that they had trouble raising the fund. According to the Federal Law, the treasury isn’t available for the construction and operating of the US pavilion in EXPO2010, all funds should be raised from the public, which made it more difficult for the construction and left the government embarrassed. Moreover, it was in the world’s affair held by the US government that the enterprise pavilions first emerged.

In 1933, the United States hosted the Chicago world’s affair in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city. For the first time enterprises with unprecedented momentum Museum Expo got on stage and became an Expo ‘ritual’. Now since the US government has confirmed to participate the Shanghai World Expo, what the Chinese government should do is to try their best to assist them in building the American pavilion smoothly to greet the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Though the construction of the American pavilion with the incredibly high budget was dogged by the financial difficulty since it is banned by the Federal Law to use the government funds for this operation, the fund-raising process was quite smooth under the efforts taken by the US Secretary of State Hillary who participated personally. Franklin Lavin, President of the Organizing Committee of the US Pavilion and previous Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade within the U.S. Department of Commerce, said, the fund-raising operation is quite successful at the moment.

Anyway, the American has managed to get over all the hardships and starts their construction with the US$61 million budget and no financial support from the government. One explanation could be ‘even the thinnest camel is bigger than the fattest donkey’. On the other hand, it showed the fact that the American public is really supportive to the public nonprofit affairs. This should have given us a revelation that it’s an unshakable social duty of Chinese companies to take their part in the public affairs, as well as American ones.