Following the success of the Deaflympics in September, during which Taiwan showcased the theme "Power in Me" to the city's residents and people around the world, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin now envisions bringing “Power of Beauty” to Taipei with the 2010 Taipei International Gardening and Horticulture Exposition (Taipei Int’l Flora Expo).
Entering its final one-year countdown, Hau vowed that the expo, which will give Taipei City a face-lift by upgrading its software and hardware facilities, will once again take the capital city to the international limelight and make its citizens proud.
Scheduled to be held for the first time in Taiwan from Nov. 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011, the Taipei Int’l Flora Expo is the first category A2B1 world exposition for Taiwan to host under the authorization of the Netherlands-based International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). Taipei is the seventh city in Asia to host international players in the horticulture industry.
<b>2010 Flora Expo: Taipei’s new interaction with the world </b>
<small>Managing to squeeze time out of his busy schedule, Hau made an inspection tour to major exhibitions halls of the expo Thursday.
Hau stood in front of the EXPO Hall and mapped out his vision, saying that the main objective of the expo is to “let the world see Taipei, and let Taipei embrace the world.”
Noting that the test operation of the expo will kick off in September 2010, Hau estimated that the 171-day event will attract over 6 million visitors from home and abroad, and with a total investment of NT$3.529 billion, the expo will create a minimum economic benefit of NT$11.7 billion (US$360 million) -- roughly 1.5 to 3 times the investment amount based on statistics of previous events held worldwide.
Business or industries such as horticulture, tourism and travel, restaurants and bio-technology are also expected to benefit, which Hau said would be a great boost in revitalizing Taiwan’s economy.
Hau noted that Taiwan has always enjoyed a great reputation for and taken pride in its advancement in horticulture and bio-technology, with world-acclaimed orchid productions and celebrated rice and fruit growing technologies.
Moreover, Taipei is a modern city rich in cultural and natural resources, Hau said, citing as examples the city's annual output value of US$50 billion in the high-tech industry; the more than 640,000 pieces of historic and cultural treasures housed in the National Palace Museum, as well as hot spring sites and volcanic geography in Yangmingshan National Park.
“All of these features will be showcased in the expo not only to increase Taipei’s international profile but also to promote global understanding of Taiwan,” Hau said. </small>
<b>Support of Taipei citizens key to the success </b>
<small>Hau admitted that there were obstacles and frustrations over the past two years in preparing for the expo because unlike previous flora expos held in Europe, Japan or China, the 2010 Taipei expo will be the first to be held in city center.
High population density, frequent industrial and commercial activities, and great transportation volume made it extremely difficult to find permanent sites for constructing the pavilions, Hau said.
Minimizing the impacts on traffic and how to move the temporary pavilions for future use, all posed great challenges to the city government, according to Hau, adding that “reduce, reuse and recycle” are the key concepts when designing the pavilions.
“I, however, have good faith in our citizens. While the city government is doing all it can to accomplish the arduous task, I believe that everybody will offer his or her greatest support to help us market Taipei and create a first-class international image,” Hau said. </small>
<b>When 2010 Taipei Int’l Expo meets ROC Centennial anniversary </b>
<small>With world-class exhibition scale, content and participants, Hau said the Taipei flora expo will be of special meaning given the fact that the Republic of China will also be celebrating its centennial birthday in 2011, as many other countries did when they hosted the event, such as Italy, Canada and Australia.
Featuring the theme of “Flower, River, New Horizon,” the Taipei Expo will include 14 unique exhibition pavilions, eight of which are remodeled from existing buildings while the rest are new constructions, to bring about the characteristics of “flora and horticulture,” “culture and arts,” “environmental ecology” and “pioneering technology.”
Hau said there is no better stage than the 2010 Taipei expo for Taiwan to showcase its strength in horticulture and flora industry, as the event is the most prestigious professional horticultural exposition in the world.
Five pavilions are dedicated for this purpose, including the EXPO Dome and Pavilion of Culture in the Yuanshan Park Area, and Pavilion of Future, Pavilion of Life and Palace of Floral Teas in Xinsheng Park Area, he added.
Environmental ecology also plays a significant role in the expo, Hau said, not only because environmental protection is a common responsibility of human beings, but also because of the fact that global warming has become an international hot issue.
Concepts of ecological conservation and resources recycling were embodied in the design of the EXPO Theater, a three-dimensional theater which will show a film titled “Face the Reality of the Earth” to increase awareness of ecological crisis in Taiwan, he added.
In addition, five pavilions are designed to demonstrate Taiwan’s diversified cultures and arts, including Celebrity’s House, Pavilion of New Fashion, Pavilion of Aroma of Flowers and the EXPO Hall, while Pavilion of Future, Pavilion of Dreams and Pavilion of Life will showcase Taiwan’s excellent pioneering technologies. </small>
<b>Taipei Expo expected to create immense business opportunities </b>
<small>Taipei city government’s Department of Economic Development estimates that the 2010 Taipei flora expo is expected to attract six million visitors, including 300,000 from abroad. It is also expected to generate NT$11.7 billion in economic benefits and create 63,000 jobs.
Promising to purchase more than 40 million flowers and plants for the exposition by local floriculture industry and producers, Hau said the event also provides a great opportunity to display Taiwan’s native flower and plant species on the international stage and show the world Taiwan’s vitality.
According to Hau, the flora expo will not only bring economic benefits to the floriculture producers, but also help promote growth in industries such as green architecture, landscaping, and exhibition and convention. </small>
<b>Public participation and international propaganda </b>
<small>Entering the final year of preparation, how to increase the public’s participation and enthusiasm for the event and how to promote international propaganda are two major challenges for the Taipei city government, according to Hau.
In response to the challenges, his team will establish more “city gardens” and install large green sculptures at major railway stations to trumpet up public interests in the event, Hau said.
Moreover, the mayor said the city government will model its successful experience in hosting the Deaflympics to recruit volunteers from the private sector, such as schools, companies and non-governmental organizations, so as to show foreign visitors the warmth of Taiwanese people.
As to international propaganda, Hau specifically mentioned the series of reports by CNA, which come in Chinese, English and Spanish, as part of the city government’s efforts to increas