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Expo Center raises the curtain

2009. 25 December

The main hall of the Expo Center. It may host events including the annual plenary sessions of the city's top legislation body and advisory body, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

by Yang Jian

( Construction and outfitting of the Expo Center was completed yesterday. It will be the main venue for ceremonies, forums and conventions at next year's World Expo and will also host top-level conferences
and events after the 2010 event.

The main hall may hold many international events including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the Laureus Prize sports awards ceremony, said Dai Liu, president of the Expo Group in charge of construction.

The annual plenary sessions of the Shanghai People's Congress and the Shanghai committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the city's top legislation body and advisory body, are due to be held in the hall from 2011.

Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng pushed a button to launch colored ribbons at a ceremony held in the main hall of the center to celebrate the completion yesterday.

The 142,000-square-meter building in Pudong New Area will be the operations and media center during the Expo.

A summit forum among world national leaders will be held in the 2,600-seat main hall at the end of the Expo in October.

The main hall can also be turned into a stage for performances and concerts, and will be even more comfortable for audiences that the main hall of the Shanghai Grand Theatre, one of the best stages in the country, said Dai.

The seven-story building has another four main halls for round-table conferences, banquets and performances. Different events can be held in the center simultaneously thanks to the building's good sound insulation.

The building also has a rooftop garden and a helipad.

The highlight of the Expo Center is its environmentally friendly design.

It will recycle river and rain water and is made of ecologically friendly materials. It can save 2,160 tons of coal every year, equalling the electricity that 10,000 Shanghai families would consume in 12 months, Dai said.

The center is one of the five permanent, "green" constructions at the Expo site, along with the China Pavilion, the Theme Pavilion, the Performance Center and the Expo Boulevard.