CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Edwin Carrington and Mr. Huang Jianzhi, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Shanghai World EXPO Coordination have signed a Financing Agreement between the Caribbean Community and the People’s Republic of China relative to participation in [EXPO 2010](http://www.expo2010.cn/expo/expoenglish/index.html). The Agreement assists Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) along with the CARICOM Secretariat to participate in EXPO 2010 – being held May 01 to October 31 in Shanghai, China. Last November, the Secretary-General signed the Leading Participation Agreement on behalf of the Community.
On the occasion of the signing yesterday, the Chinese delegation provided a comprehensive update on preparations for the World Expo. Reportedly, as of April 28, 196 contracts had been signed and organizers were optimistic that they will exceed the projected 200 participants. The EXPO will run from 1 May 2010 to 31 October 2010.
The CARICOM Member States and the CARICOM Secretariat will be accommodated in a Joint Pavilion, which will be called The CARICOM Joint Pavilion. It was announced that the Pavilion would be completed by the third quarter of 2009.
EXPO 2010, Shanghai will be held under the theme Better City, Better Life. The five sub themes are; blending of diverse cultures in the city; economic prosperity in the city; innovation of science and technology in the city; remodeling of communities in the city and rural-urban interaction. Participants are required to reflect some aspect of the theme or sub themes in their exhibitions.
Since January, 2009 National Coordinators of Member States for Expo 2010 have been meeting. Mr. Carrington has continued to emphasise the need for a *“meaningful and dynamic CARICOM presence”* at the event. At the First Preparatory meeting of Coordinators in January, he announced that the People’s Republic of China was providing *“considerable resources”* to the Community to maximise the opportunities presented by the event. China has committed US$650,000 to each participating Member State and an additional US$325,000 to support the CARICOM Secretariat in coordinating the participation; in total some US$10 million, which Mr. Carrington described as *“truly generous”*, and a gesture for which the Community was “highly appreciative”.
In light of the current global economic and financial crisis, he said that this offer by China, which amounted to US$10 million, was *“truly generous”* – a gesture for which the Community was *“highly appreciative”.*
The latest report on Member State participation revealed that the following had committed: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, with the Secretary-General announcing that efforts will be made to secure the commitment of the other Member States, namely, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Describing the World Exposition 2010 as *“the signal event to usher in the second decade of the 21st century”,* the Secretary-general told the coordinators that they must help their respective countries embrace the myriad opportunities this *“enormous market”* would provide.
The World Expo is a large-scale, global, non-commercial Expo. The hosting of the World Expo must be applied for by a country and approved by the international World Expo committee. The Expo aims to promote the exchange of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology, to allow exhibitors to publicise and display their achievements and improve international relationships.
The World Expo with its 150-year history is regarded as the Olympic Games of the economy, science and technology. World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts. Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future. See the promotional (http://en.expo2010.cn/sr/video/index.htm) and download the Expo Newsletters [here](http://en.expo2010.cn/documents/nl/index.htm).