Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore said on Sunday that Canada is eager to strengthen its ties with China through Expo 2010 Shanghai, according to a news release received here on Monday.
Moore said that Expo 2010 was the largest international exposition ever held, with 242 participating countries and organizations and more than 72 million visitors, where the Canada Pavilion took top honors, and "presented Canada as a nation that is modern, inclusive, proud of our natural heritage, and eager to strengthen its ties with China".
The news release said, "Expo 2010 gave Canada an opportunity to advance its foreign policy and international trade goals, reinforce diplomatic and cultural ties with China, and strengthen Canada's brand image in China."
The minister also underlined the resounding success of Canada's participation at Expo 2010, saying Canada "really shone" at the Expo.
Canada's participation at Expo 2010 consisted of several elements. The Canada Pavilion was the focal point. A large portion of the pavilion was devoted to a public presentation; and their participation also included a cultural program, a business program, and a culinary program.
Over the six months of the exposition, from May 1 to Oct. 31, the Canada Pavilion had welcomed more than 6 million visitors, which included 18,000 Canadians, as well as 12 federal ministers, five provincial premiers, and 25 mayors from across Canada.
The numbers far surpassed the most optimistic predictions and the initial attendance goal set by Canada of 5 million visitors.
The pavilion showed visitors the image of a modern Canada where cultural diversity, technological expertise, and pride in the country's environment are all assets that make the country an ideal destination for doing business, studying, or traveling.
The Canada Pavilion was ranked one of the most popular pavilions at Expo 2010, and was praised as the most entertaining, interesting, and "wired" pavilion by the Chinese media.
SNC Lavalin, the company in charge of the construction of the Canada Pavilion, was named Canada China Business Council "Member of the Year" at an awards ceremony held in Beijing, China, on Oct. 13. The date also marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Canada and China.