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Shanghai World Expo Ends, Makes Way for Yeosu

Posted November. 01, 2010 08:17,   


The World Expo in Shanghai came to a grand finale Sunday after a six-month run, with China saying it has laid the foundation for becoming an economic powerhouse through the event.

Analysts say the expo, dubbed the "economic Olympics" and generating a flurry of records in the event`s 150-year history, also elevated public recognition and attitude among the Chinese.

○ Killing two birds with one stone

The Shanghai expo site covering 5.28 square kilometers was divided into the eastern and western sections of the Huangpu River, which crosses Shanghai. The Pudong district, which sits to the east, was home to national pavilions in which 190 countries participated. The Fuxi district accommodated 18 pavilions for global businesses.

An estimated 73 million people visited the Shanghai expo over its 184-day run, or 400,000 people a day and about 5 percent of them were foreign nationals. The top five attractions were the pavilions for China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan and Korea.

Jang Soo-young, chief of public relations at the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, said, “These five attracted the largest numbers of visitors among the national pavilions,” adding, “The Korean Pavilion attracted 7.25 million visitors, enjoying tremendous popularity.”

The daily record in the number of visitors was set Oct. 16 at 1.03 million. Visitors had to wait in a long queue for eight to nine hours to tour the Saudi Arabian pavilion, something which lasted about 15 minutes on a moving walk.

Experts say the Shanghai expo also instilled in the Chinese a sense of public order. Few sought to cut in lines though visitors had to wait in lines for about four hours on average. Non-smoking tables were introduced at all restaurants in Shanghai.

Beijing estimated that China’s GDP growth this year will rise five percentage points thanks to the expo. The Chinese government estimates that tourism income alone will reach 80 billion yuan (11.9 billion U.S. dollars), while investment in nearby regions increased 40 to 50 percent due to the expo.

○ Can Yeosu succeed like Shanghai?

In the wake of the successful Shanghai expo, attention has shifted toward the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. The Yeosu expo will run for 93 days from May 12, 2012, at the southern port city.

Under the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast,” the Yeosu expo will be installed at a site covering 1.74 million square meters, including more than 20 exhibition pavilions and an Expo Town. More than 100 countries and five international organizations will attend.

The Yeosu expo is projected to attract around 8 million visitors, including 550,000 foreigners.

A 34-year-old Chinese man received an invitation to the Yeosu expo to become the 2,012th guest to enter the Korean Pavilion at the Shanghai expo. “I came from Jiangsu province to watch the closing ceremony of the Shanghai expo,” he said. “I hope that the Yeosu expo will be hosted successfully and serve as a venue for global harmony and collaboration.”