Shanghai's $44 billion World Expo closed last Sunday after China’s richest city hosted a record number of visitors during the six-month event.
The six-month event attracted 73 million visitors and featured exhibits from some 246 participating countries and international organizations that sprawled over 1,300 acres.
After winning hosting rights in 2002, Shanghai allotted 28.6 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) for construction and operating costs and 270 billion yuan for infrastructure, including the airport terminals, subway system and a three-year renovation of The Bund waterfront area. The Expo was part of an investment campaign in the city of 19.2 million people that China aims to develop into a global financial center by 2020.
The exhibition, with pavilions from about 190 nations from the U.S. to North Korea, may lift Shanghai’s economic growth to more than 8.5 percent this year from 8.2 percent in 2009, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences estimates.
Premier Wen Jiabao presided over closing ceremonies Sunday evening. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was also in attendance.
Shanghai's World Expo to Close After Attracting Record 72 Million Visitors [Bloomberg, 31 Oct 2010]
Shanghai World Expo ends Sunday after successful 6-month run [CNN, 31 Oct 2010]