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BIE president: Shanghai World Expo will be a success

2009. 4 May

( "I think nobody has doubt that the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 will be a success," Jean-Pierre Lafon, president of the International Exhibition Bureau, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

According to Lafon, the Shanghai Expo is of great significance.

For one thing, the theme of "Better City, Better Life" is a popular topic people concern most because for the first time in history, urban population exceeded rural population in 2007, said Lafon, noting that it is also the first time for China to host a world expo.

For another, Shanghai is a city with mysterious colors for many people while it is also known around the world as an important global economic center. "It is a city where China meets with the Occident and a city that shows China's capacity to incorporate things of diverse nature," the BIE president said.

It is estimated that the Shanghai Expo will attract some 70 million visitors, a record in the history of world expo, he added.

Talking about the theme of "city," Lafon said the extension of urban areas has posed many problems to the world, such as poverty, pollution, transportation and the mental illness of social contact failure. "It is of great importance that China will provide the world with solutions to these problems through the Shanghai Expo." he noted.

Lafon added that the Shanghai World Expo would be an occasion that great architects, urbanists and sociologists around the world would come together to tackle the problems brought by urbanization.

He added that the Shanghai Expo would be a challenge to China under the current global financial crisis, but also an opportunity for the country to revitalize its economy.

The BIE president said Shanghai World Expo is to open in a year and he would like to thank China for hosting the event for countries around the world. "Thanks and good luck," Lafon said.