Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

8 May 2009

Australia Leading the Way at Shanghai World Expo 2010

Minister for Trade Simon Crean visited Shanghai today to take part in the 'topping out' ceremony for Australia's national pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010.

"The Australian pavilion is clearly the most advanced of any of the international participants", Mr Crean said.

The 'topping out' ceremony is the second milestone in the construction of the Australian pavilion. Australia was the first international participant to complete foundation works in February this year.

"With just under twelve months to go until the expo opens on 1 May next year, I am very impressed by the progress since I last visited the site in April 2008", he said.

The Shanghai expo, which will take place from 1 May to 31 October 2010, will be the largest world expo ever held. More than 180 countries have confirmed their participation. Organisers are expecting over 70 million visitors, around 90 per cent of whom will be from China. Up to seven million people are expected to visit the Australian pavilion.

"With a total project value of $83 million, this is the largest investment Australia has ever made in a world expo", Mr Crean said.

"This reflects not only the importance of the Australia-China relationship, but also the Government's intention to take full advantage of this opportunity to promote increased trade and two-way investment, project contemporary images of modern Australia to millions of people and to strengthen institutional and people-to-people links between our two countries."

The Government is providing core funding for the project and is seeking up to $22 million in sponsorship from the states and territories and the private sector.

"I am delighted to welcome the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, BlueScope Steel, and Rio Tinto as Platinum Sponsors of the Australian pavilion.

"Through their strong support for this project these companies are clearly demonstrating their long-term commitment to building a mutually beneficial relationship with China. As regional and global leaders in their fields, they will help enhance the Australian brand in this important and competitive market", Mr Crean said.

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) will connect Australian companies to business opportunities flowing from the expo and will work with DFAT to deliver an extensive series of trade and two-way investment promotion events at the Australian pavilion.

"This Expo is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australia to the world and to expand commercial links in China.

"China is the place to be and Australian companies need to get a bigger slice of the action", Mr Crean said.

Companies that have already secured deals include:

The Queensland and Victorian governments have already announced their determination actively to support Australia's participation in Expo 2010. The Northern Territory was the first government to conclude a partnership agreement with the Federal Government.

Mr Crean also launched the Australian pavilion's bilingual website www.australianpavilion.com and unveiled the Australian pavilion mascot – the kookaburra. "Clever and confident, resourceful, and with a sense of humour, the kookaburra reflects well the Australian personality," said Mr Crean.

A competition to name the mascot is under way in China and will run until mid-June.

Media Inquiries: Mr Crean's office 02 6277 7420 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555