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Expo economy could surpass Olympics

05-09-2010 14:54 BJT Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

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Many analysts are predicting the economic impact of the 2010 World Expo will be three times larger than that of the 2008 Olympics. Can the effects of the six-month showcase in Shanghai really dwarf what took place during the Beijing Games? And if so, how might it happen? Our reporter, Wang Guan, investigates in this BIZ EXPO feature.

Zhang Yiping has been working as a tourism consultant for four years. Her company provides information on traveling in and around Shanghai, and helps clients book trips.

She says the six-square-meter store receives nearly 1,000 customers every day.

Zhang Yiping said, "Since April 30th, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people. They come from across the country -- Henan, Sichuan, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu. Especially from Jiangsu and Zhejiang."

At the box office for the neighboring Oriental Pearl Tower, tourists aren't hesitating to pay premium holiday prices to enter the iconic structure.

The influx of visitors clearly demonstrates this event's economic muscle.

Sun Lijian, Dean Fudan University School of Economics, said"The Expo lasts longer. It's a concentrated event where you need to be there to enjoy it, rather than just watching it on TV. It will give a boost to many industries, and jump start the service sector in the Yangtze River Delta Region. So the economic benefits will be more obvious, and more comprehensive, than the Olympics."

Professor Sun adds that, in addition to generating quick cash, the event will transform the city's economic growth pattern by initiating a green revolution.

To describe the low carbon concept as being widely applied in Shanghai's Expo Park might be a huge understatement. Tapping into environmentally friendly materials, and renewable energy sources, are THE primary concerns of most pavilions. It's probably fair to say this World Expo is one of the largest showcases for low carbon technologies and lifestyles in history.

So what factors will lead to green science playing a bigger role China's economy?

Sun said, "First it's people's awareness and knowledge. Ordinary folks go to the park, and see that green lifestyles can actually make our lives so much better. With increased awareness comes demand. And with increased demand comes incentives for enterprises. The government should also cash in on low carbon technology. This will help cultivate the market."

So behind the rosy economic figures that are set to surpass the Beijing Olympics, what the Expo is really offering are new opportunities for this host city to make momentous progress.

Wang Guan, CCTV Reporter, said, "For example, Shanghai can rebuild its brand to fast-forward its investment drawing process. It can cultivate people's awareness of our shared low carbon future. And through exchanges of new ideas and technologies, Shanghai can book a faster boat to lead China away from its label of the world's factory, and into one of its creative centers. Wang Guan, CCTV, Shanghai."

Editor:Yang Jie |Source:

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