Wed, Apr 14, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan pavilion ready to show nation’s colors

WINDOWAs long as every one of the expected 800,000 visitors to the pavilion spends just 20 minutes learning about Taiwan, the mission will be accomplished, TAITRA said

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

After about 200 days of around-the-clock construction and NT$1 billion (US$30.3 million) later, the Taiwan pavilion at the World Expo 2010, which will be held in Shanghai next month, is ready to showcase the nation’s technological and cultural prowess to visitors from around the world.

The Taiwan pavilion is among the 16 pavilions that are scheduled to participate in a trial run next Tuesday, thanks to an earlier-than-expected completion of the project, said Wang Chih-kang (王志剛), chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), which operates the pavilion.

“The pavilion will tell the world about the beauty of the natural scenery [in Taiwan] and our technological competitiveness,” Wang told a pre-expo press conference yesterday.

Taiwan last attended the World Expo in Osaka, Japan, in 1970, a year before losing its seat at the UN to China, and has been absent ever since, reflecting lingering political tensions with Beijing.

Shanghai extended an invitation to Taipei in May last year.

More than 190 countries are participating, with the expo running for six months. The contract was sealed in July after two months of discussions on official titles and location for the Taiwan pavilion, Wang said.

The pavilion is located in Zone A, a central position shared by Hong Kong, China, Macau, India, Japan and South Korea, among others.

Despite being the last pavilion to start construction in August, the Taiwan pavilion was completed ahead of schedule on March 31. It was the fifth-fastest completed pavilion among the 46 pavilions that chose to design and build their own pavilions rather than use ready-made pavilions offered by the organizer, TAITRA said.

More than 70 million visitors are expected to visit the World Expo, with 1 percent — or 800,000 people — expected to enter the Taiwan pavilion because of the size of the expo venue and limited space at the Taiwan booths, Wang said.

The Taiwan pavilion intends to stand out by using 4D technology, complete with light and audio effects to capture the attention of visitors from a distance, TAITRA said.

“The Taiwan pavilion can accommodate more than 4,300 ­visitors a day,” Wang said. “As long as each visitor spends 20 minutes enjoying the beauty of Taiwan, our mission will be accomplished.”

The pavilion design is a transparent cube housing a giant ball at the center. It is mainly made of steel and glass, with the outlines of Yushan and Alishan painted on the facade.

The main part of the pavilion was built with stone from Yushan and soil from Yingge Township (鶯歌), Taipei County. Visitors will also be invited to fly sky lanterns for good luck.

The pavilion showcases Taiwan’s scenery, kind-hearted people and culture with the theme of “Mountain, Water, Heart and Lantern,” TAITRA said.

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