Vice mayor of Shanghai Yang Xiong says Shanghai will not seek profit from the upcoming World Expo.
Yang Xiong, deputy director of the executive committee for Shanghai Expo and vice mayor of Shanghai
"The World Expo is a cultural exchange event, not a commercial event. Neither the Chinese government nor the Shanghai municipal government has any plan to seek profit from the event," Yang told a press conference in Shanghai yesterday. "Our goal is to make ends meet, as we have stated in the application report."
"What Shanghai will benefit from the Expo cannot only be measured by economic factors. It will have a far-reaching effect on the host city and generations of people living in that city," Yang said.
Yang denied a claim that Shanghai will spend 400 billion yuan on the six-month international event. "The cost for the Expo is 28.6 billion yuan, including 18 billion spent on design and construction of pavilions and 10.6 billion on operation," Yang said.
To prepare for the World Expo, Shanghai invested 170 billion yuan in the city's infrastructure last year. A new air terminal, Terminal No. 2, was opened at the Hongqiao Airport on March 16.The terminal is part of the 26-square-kilometer Hongqiao traffic hub, which includes a railway station and a long-distance bus terminal. The hub is a key support project for the Shanghai Expo.
Shanghai's iconic landmark, the Bund, just reopened to the public on March 28, after two years of renovations that cost an estimated 5 billion yuan.
Shanghai now has 11 rail lines, covering 420 kilometers. Five of them directly reach the Expo Park. "Investment in infrastructure should not be included in the cost of Expo," Yang said, noting that Shanghai's population is 20 million, with an annual increase of about 400,000 people. "The current infrastructure is far from being able to meet the demand," he said.
"Rail lines are vital to improve the traffic. If we don't build new lines, the traffic may paralyze... In fact, rail line constructions have already been included in the city's 10th and 11th development plan. We are not doing it ahead, but just as planned. "
The Shanghai World Expo is an international exposition that will take place from May 1 to October 31 this year. The six-month long event will showcase the theme "Better City, Better Life," and is expected to attract 70 million people.