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HK's Expo pavilion on solid footing 300 days out from big event (with photos/videos)

The foundations of the Hong Kong Pavilion at World Exposition 2010 Shanghai China were completed today (July 2) - three days ahead of the 300-day countdown of the mega event.

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the fulltime Deputy Director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination (SEB), Ms Zhong Yangun, jointly added the last of the concrete foundations at a ceremony on the Hong Kong Pavilion site.

"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government signed the agreement to participate in the Shanghai Expo with the SEB in May 2008. Since then, we have been working closely with the SEB to start our preparatory works,” Mr Tang.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that with the completion of the foundations for the Hong Kong Pavilion, Hong Kong’s participation in the Shanghai Expo has entered a new phase.

“On behalf of the HKSAR government, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation for the SEB’s great support and assistance in the last year.

With the approval of the Legislative Council, the HKSAR Government has committed $346 million in funding for Hong Kong’s Expo presence.

This includes $145 million for the design and construction of the Hong Kong Pavilion, and $201 million for operation and activities, including the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) Exhibition.

Under the theme “Hong Kong - A City with Unlimited Potential”, the Pavilion will highlight Hong Kong's unique characteristics and showcase the city's creativity as well as connectivity with the Mainland and the rest of the world during the Shanghai Expo period from May 1 to October 31, 2010.

The stand-alone Hong Kong Pavilion, located in front of the China Pavilion, occupies a site of about 600 square metres on the Pudong side of the Expo site. It will have an exhibition area of about 800 square metres.

Also present at the foundations completion ceremony were the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law; the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), Mr Duncan Pescod; the Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Chung Ling-Hoi; Director, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs, Shanghai, Mr Patrick Chan; and Expo Co-ordinator, Mr Victor Ng.

Mr Tang also visited the Expo site model.

Upon completion, the three-level Hong Kong Pavilion will have a sleek and contemporary look. The middle level is mostly transparent giving the pavilion a distinctive image that symbolises the infinite imagination and creativity of Hong Kong and its people.

The design of the pavilion is based on the winning entry - the "Pavilion of Infinity" - of a concept design competition held by the HKSAR Government in 2008.

Apart from the pavilion, Hong Kong will also participate in the UBPA Exhibition under the theme "Smart Card, Smart City, Smart Life".

Hong Kong's UBPA exhibition will demonstrate how the extensive use of smart card technology has improved efficiency and the quality of city life.

Hong Kong will also take part in the Expo Shanghai Online project by constructing a "virtual" pavilion on the Internet to provide a platform for netizens from around the world to experience the Hong Kong Pavilion and UBPA Exhibition in cyberspace.

During the six-month Expo period, a range of activities and events promoting Hong Kong will also be held, including a "Hong Kong Week" in October 2010.