70 million visitors, 192 states taking part, 20.000 cultural events, 100 chiefs of state visiting and a 4.2 billion dollars budget. These are impressive figures describing the World Shanghai Exhibition 2010, which officially open this Friday, April 30. "Better City, Better Life" is the theme of the event, which will be open over the next six months, until end October. Romania has got its own pavilion, in the shape of a green apple, promoting the idea of a green, ecological city and sustainable development.

Shanghai is these days the centre of global attention, especially from the economic point of view. Many say here take place the economy, environment business and international commerce Olympics. At 7 pm in Shanghai (2 pm Romanian time, 12 pm London time) the Expo 2010 will be officially open. The exhibition will be open to the public starting May 1.

The Expo 2010 site stretches across 5.3 kilometres, on both River Huangpu banks, which is twice as big as Monaco, 20 times bigger than the last international exhibition that took place in Saragossa, and the equivalent of nearly 1.000 football fields.

The international press reads that 18,000 households have been torn down to make way for the exhibition. It is expected that the owners of the bulldozed homes to join the protesters who already announced their presence at the event, alongside dissidents and activists.

Expo Shanghai 2010 has got the largest budget in the history of such events: approximately 4.2 billion dollars, double the sum poured into the Beijing Olympics. According to Reuters, Shanghai allocated 45 billion dollars to improve the infrastructure, creating the world's longest tube network, two new terminals for the airport and new roads, parks and bridges.

Organisers selected 72.000 Chinese volunteers for the exhibition's site and 10.000 more for the city. Those working in Expo 2010 offer assistance to visitors and the rest take care of them, offer information and interpret for those who come to the city and want to visit the exhibition.

Chinese authorities expect Shanghai to be visited by 70 million people over the next six months, out of which 3.5 million foreigners, al potential clients. This is the reason for maximum security measures taken in the city. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Commerce commissioner Karel de Gucht and Franch President Nicholas Sarkozy will take part at the EU pavilion official opening on May 1.

Even if the logo of the event is "Better City, Better Life", promoting ecology, sustainablegrowth and urbanisation, the exhibition has a purely pragmatic target: the 192 participant countries hope to attract new clients for their national companies and seal new contracts.

The events taking part during the exhibition include from business fora and various industrial products exhibitions to cultural events, shows and fashion catwalks of some of the most celebrated designers worldwide and demonstrative football games. Quite a number of celebrities, including 100 chiefs of state, have confirmed their participation in the Expo 2010 over the next six months. Among the VIPs are:

  • Formula 1 pilot Lewis Hemilton, who has already visited Great Britain's pavilion and said it promotes a young and modern image of his country;
  • a European football dream team will visit Expo 2010 in September. It includes Michel Platini, Paolo Maldini, Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane, who will perform a show-match against Chinese football veterans. This will make an occasion for fans to get souvenirs with autographs;
  • Prada and Ferragamo will come during the fashion week that Italy's pavilion will stage;
  • Bollywood's most famous 50 actors and actresses will put on a show for India's pavilion.

Romania hopes to attract seven million visitors

Romania's got its own pavilion at Expo Shanghai 2010, namely a green apple, which suggests an ecologic city.

The budget allocated for this exhibition is 27 million lei. It took 2.5 million euros to construct and set-up the pavilion.

Romanian pavilion’s official red-tape cut is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, at 11 am local time (6 am Romanian time), n the presence of Romania's General Commissioner for World Exhibitions Ferdinand Nagy.

HotNews.ro will keep you informed on the events taking place these days in Shanghai Expo