U.S. Pavilion in Shanghai Expo Confirmed

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on July 11, 2009

The U.S. signed a deal with organizers of China’s Shanghai 2010 Expo on July 10 to build a U.S. pavilion at the world’s fair, putting to an end speculation about whether it would participate in the fair, the China Daily reports. Recent sponsors including Pepsi, Yum Brands(YUM)and 3M which are ponying up several million dollars each to help pay the $61 million budget. However organizers say they have only raised about half the amount needed, which is sufficient to build but not operate the pavilion. The project finally got pushed across the line thanks to efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appointed Jose Villareal as the Commissioner General to Shanghai Expo at the beginning of July.

The uncertainty over the American participation was proving to be a major embarrassment for the U.S. business and diplomatic community in Shanghai, where 191 other countries had already signed up for the fair. Because of a 1991 bill passed by Congress, the U.S. government is effectively barred from funding national pavilions, leaving it to the private sector to foot the bill. However unlike the Beijing Olympics, which were a marketing bonanza, corporate sponsors have been slow to sign on to Shanghai 2010 which is little known outside China. only a handful of international corporate sponsors with their own pavilions, including Siemens and Coca-Cola, (KO) Unlike the Beijing Olympics, which proved to be a marketing bonanza for sponsors, the Shanghai Expo just doesn’t have the same cachet. It opens next May 1, and is expected to receive more than 70 million visitors, 60 million of them from China. Construction on the U.S. pavilion was originally supposed to have begun on March 1. For an excellent summary of the funding difficulties the U.S. has faced, check out Adam Minter’s Shanghai Scrap blog. You can also go to the Shanghai Expo website to learn more.


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Reader Comments

How weak

July 11, 2009 12:06 PM

How embarrassing for the United States. A lack of funds contributed to the delay? How can a country like that consider itself to be the richest country in the world. Maybe in its people's own minds.

Steven

July 11, 2009 08:32 PM

I understand US somewhat in this case. The economical crisis hits US harder than many think. Now we know that US financial institutes and system is in a very bad situation. Few outsoders still have trust on them. US innovation is in bad shape too. I remember a report somewhere a few months ago, it said there was only one small IPO from silicon valley last year, comparing more than 20 before. The numbers maybe not acurate, but US is in very bad shpae in hi-tech. That could be bigger danger to US's future. When US has almost nothing new to display, why the companies and gov want to participate in the World Expo? Expo, which will last half an year, is an event that is even bigger than Olympics.

ChinaWillWin

July 12, 2009 01:11 AM

Pouring billions after billions in Iraq wars, resulting with more than a million people death, and another several millions losing their homes, now this government is not willing to spend a penny to showcase the technology of the almighty US. Is this pathetic or what?

Kelp

July 12, 2009 02:15 AM

Do you have a link to the Shanghai Scrap blog in question. I didn't find it.

frederik balfour

July 12, 2009 02:32 AM

Shanghai Scrap blog by Adam Minter is
http://shanghaiscrap.com

I reset the link within my blog and it works.


You can also go to the Shanghai Expo Website itself to learn more: http://en.expo2010.cn/a/20090710/000011.htm

Maersk

July 12, 2009 07:47 AM

There is only one word to describe a country that could spend a trillion dollors to carry out crimes against humanity but couldn't spare 60 millions dollars for the World Expo, pathetic!

Frederik Balfour

July 13, 2009 04:17 AM

France and Japan have created special fragrances commemorating the Shanghai 2010 expo--http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article/2009/200907/20090713/article_407222.htm

SicSemperTyrannis

July 13, 2009 10:25 AM

The 2010 Shanghai Expo represents nothing more than a friendly cultural and diplomatic gesture to China. The world has changed a lot since the Paris World Fair/Expo more than a 100 years when the the Eiffel Tower was revealed. Today, a country's aspiration to construct a symbol of national wealth at a World Expo - THE event 100 years ago for a country to "show off" their success and grandeur - has now been overshadowed by a nation's groundbreaking engineering and technological feats. Spectacles of wealth are Old World and the Shanghai World Expo is just another attempt by the Chinese government to assimilate China into the norms of Western "modernity".

So What?

July 13, 2009 10:27 AM

The 2010 Shanghai Expo represents nothing more than a friendly cultural and diplomatic gesture to China. The world has changed a lot since the Paris World Fair/Expo more than a 100 years when the the Eiffel Tower was revealed. Today, a country's aspiration to construct a symbol of national wealth at a World Expo - THE event 100 years ago for a country to "show off" their success and grandeur - has now been overshadowed by a nation's groundbreaking engineering and technological feats. Spectacles of wealth are Old World and the Shanghai World Expo is just another attempt by the Chinese government to assimilate China into the norms of Western "modernity".

will

July 13, 2009 12:07 PM

"Chinawillwin" If you could actually read than you would realize that the US government is not allowed to donate money due to a law enacted in 1991. "How Weak" America doesn't "consider" itself the richest country in the world, they are the richest country in the world. Furthermore, to all you other people that are posting, please keep to your native countries’ websites because your English is terrible. You honestly sound like a 10 year old trying to make a point.

ARTHUR PICCOLO

July 13, 2009 01:42 PM

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-07/04/content_8378165.htm

Dimei

July 13, 2009 10:46 PM

The 2010 Shanghai Expo attracts people to visit China, if you have language problem, please visit www.mindstrans.com
maybe we can help you

ChinaWillWin But Communist will Lost

July 15, 2009 04:26 PM

ChinaWillWin,

Though I may not agree US invasion of Iraq, there is no one million death.

Stop spreading propaganda here.

US Army allows reporters attached to its units to report.

Can your murderous government allows reporters to walk freely in Xingjiang and Tibet?

I believe if international media can cover Xingjiang and Tibet, they will very likely to find a million bodies

ChinaWillWin But Communist will Lose

July 15, 2009 04:26 PM

ChinaWillWin,

Though I may not agree US invasion of Iraq, there is no one million death.

Stop spreading propaganda here.

US Army allows reporters attached to its units to report.

Can your murderous government allows reporters to walk freely in Xingjiang and Tibet?

I believe if international media can cover Xingjiang and Tibet, they will very likely to find a million bodies

David King

July 15, 2009 04:30 PM

I find it is very interesting that people from countries without free media to attack US for its lack of interest in
Shanghai World Expo.

Spending $60 million for what? It is waste of money. The structure and displays will be taken down after 6 months.

If China can use 45 Billion(US dollars) that it will spends on Shanghai World Expo to improve education and health care to its poorest citizens, those poor people will not have to riot every other week.

Judith Rubin

July 17, 2009 10:25 AM

An article published yesterday on Blooloop.com includes an interview with Nick Winslow, head of the USA Pavilion team, and a statement from Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts, designer of the pavilion's exhibits. http://www.blooloop.com/Article/World-Expos-USA-Pavilion-Groundbreaking-in-Shanghai/149

Frederik Balfour

July 18, 2009 06:33 AM

Three new sponsors--this thing is gaining momentum

The USA National Pavilion organizers announced in Shanghai Friday that Walmart, NYSE Euronext and Intel Corporation have become the partners of the USA Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

C. H. Ng

July 20, 2009 01:10 AM

The comments here are mostly either for the Shanghai world Expo or against it. It's very clear that those for in favour are mainly business minded and those who are not are ordinary men in the street who don't really understand the concept or idea for setting up such expo.

Nevertheless everybody is entitled to his or her comment but kindly be more considerate in your comment / comments.

As in the case of Mr Will, please understand not everybody especially in Asia is well versed in English language. Likewise I have came across many pure Westerners with poor command of English language too. So I think it's quite rude of you to criticize those poor "natives" who are trying their best to put their views forward with their broken English. By the way, this website "Eye on Asia" is all about what's happening in Asia and so why are you, an American, is doing in our "native's website"?

Shunjing

July 20, 2009 07:46 PM

US should show more guts and reset its mindset and compete as if it never have with a zeal without a superiority complex ignoring the fundamentals.

Jack

July 20, 2009 10:16 PM

Old fashion marketins seems alien to US. The only way US knows how to compete is through threats , intimidation and espionage. They sell lies and toxic stuffs. Chinese can blame corrupt officials. Who can the Americans blame.

Jack

July 20, 2009 10:16 PM

Old fashion marketins seems alien to US. The only way US knows how to compete is through threats , intimidation and espionage. They sell lies and toxic stuffs. Chinese can blame corrupt officials. Who can the Americans blame.

frederik

July 23, 2009 11:16 PM

This Shanghai expo is supposed to focus on green and sustainable technologies. So why has Saudi Arabia decided to plant 150 palm trees on the roof of its pavilion? Hardly what you would call indigenous vegetation. Imagine how much it will cost to fly them over here. http://bit.ly/SGdhs
I hope the U.S.A. Pavilion and other countries will come up with greener themes.

Dreggor

July 30, 2009 04:22 AM

There was one small-minded, intolerant comment made by an American on here. This is just a very small but loud group of people in the country and not at all representative of the majority, more like a lagging but obstinately vocal 1-3% instead. Instead of trying to argue with that little group, just ignore them please, and talk with the rest of us without such prejudices or pre-conceptions that you from other countries may hold against United States citizens. It's a bit ridiculous and more than hypocritical to assault a prejudiced person with your own prejudiced mind-set, is it not? Instead, why not try to be open-minded and talk with other people at what you consider your level, whatever that may be, so that you can have an intelligent conversation.

That said, not only did it take a thirty year old law preventing the United States from participating in the Expo, but the United States also has a human rights issue with China. I know that as soon as you read that, you may start shouting something about the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Please don't for two reasons. One: again, this war was opposed from the beginning by the U.S. population. Our government had been taken over by zealots after a terrorist attack. However, those people have been thrown out of the government. Do not judge us on an act that is almost already a decade old, an act that was unpopular and lead to a massive shift in our governmental leadership. Two: If you live in Europe or one of the many other countries who also participated in either of these war actions, you have no ground to stand on in complaining. By your logic, you as a citizen were just as complicit as an American citizen. Your logic cuts both ways. So do not start to attack the United States in the year 2009 on that account. Your attack is baseless. Our troops are withdrawing from Iraq as you read this, much like your own country's probably did in the last few years.

However, the issue of human rights abuse in China is a freshly hot topic. The United States does not stand for political prisoners. It does not stand for government-controlled media (although we do have our own media issues). Have the Chinese people risen up and unseated their own abusive leaders as American citizens have done? No. China's people have yet to rebel and fight for a shift in their abusive and highly corrupted government.

Dreggor

July 30, 2009 04:33 AM

Also, ultimately, in the United States when a democratically-elected officials become corrupt, an admitted problem like in any other country, that person is thrown out from the government. He or she is charged with crimes, thrown out of office, forced to resign, etc. These people are the exception, not the norm.

The same is not true in China. Down to the local level, the system of justice, while improving, is nowhere close to changing. Corruption and collusion is the norm, with legal charges being brought up is the exception. Human rights organizations from all over the world have confirmed this over and over. The real shame is that the United States and other countries do not stand up to the Chinese government on these issues. There is not country in the world but Taiwan that is willing to refuse China on the human rights issues, and it is only for one reason: fear of economic retribution. That's the real tragedy unfolding on the world stage. The wars of the last several decades are fading into the past. The issue of the day and next few decades will be economic warfare between the many countries and international corporate entities.

C. H. Ng

July 30, 2009 09:49 PM

@Dreggor
I totally agreed with your points as stated except for these:-

1) Corruptions and abuses of power are not just happening in China but in every part of the world; so why (or as it seemed to us) target China alone? Why not places like Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Mexico or even my country and etc etc?

2) Western countries and most westerners always like to promote and/or talk about human rights issues. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this subject and in fact in the beginning during my younger age, I also admired & supported it. But over the years I began to see from a different and wider angle and came to understand such theory cannot just simply applied everywhere. How is it so, you may ask.
Very simple..as far as I am concerned, human rights issues can be easily practised in DEVELOPED countries such as yours but YET-TO-BE applicable now in most undeveloped and/or developing countries. I used the words "yet-to-be"
because I understand most westerners tend to believe what is good and/or can work for them will be good and/or work as well as for everybody. I think this is a highly wrong perception. Remember the saying "one man's meat is another man's poison"?

3) One simple theory or fact as it seemed to us why China and her people are always being targeted is that of the western countries' fear & worry of her growing power, both in terms of military and economy. I think most of you will not admit it but it's very clear to us there are many people out there who would not like to see a shift of power and a change in the world's current social standing.

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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