The Government approved Israel’s participation in Expo 2010, the "economic and cultural Olympics", which will take place in Shanghai, China beginning in May 2010.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

At its weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Government approved Israel’s participation in Expo 2010, which will take place in Shanghai, China beginning in May 2010 and continuing for six months. This is the biggest international exposition in the world, and most countries as well as the leading international organizations will be represented. The exposition is held every five years, each time in a different country.

Expo 2010, likened to an "economic and cultural Olympics", is expected to attract 70 million visitors. The Israeli pavilion, which will be centrally located in the fair grounds, is expected to arouse great interest and to provide a real experience to the many visitors who come to see it.

The pavilion, which will spread out over 1,500 square meters, will showcase Israeli capabilities and achievements in a variety of areas, with an emphasis on culture, tourism and as a world center for initiative and technological development, especially green technology. These themes will integrate well with the central theme of the exhibition, "Better City, Better Life."

In the past few months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been at the forefront of a series of internal and interministerial meetings that aided the drafting of the resolution that was presented Sunday for the Cabinet’s approval.

The Government’s decision authorizes Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni to announce Israel’s participation to the exhibition’s organizers during her present visit to China.

The Cabinet resolution also provides for the establishment of a steering committee headed by the Director General of the Prime Minister’s Bureau and including the Directors General of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Industry Trade and Labor, Finance, Agriculture, and the Export Institute. The committee will coordinate preparations for Israel’s participation in the exhibition.

The head of the Economic Affairs Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was appointed by the Cabinet to be the Israel Expo Commissioner and authorized to represent Israel vis-à-vis the Expo authorities. She will also head a team that will coordinate Israel’s activities leading up to, and during, Expo 2010.

The Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aaron Abramovich, commented on the great important of Israel’s participation in the exposition, which will present Israel as it is, revealing its hard-won achievements over the years and its vision of the future. The Ministry believes that participation in Expo 2010 will contribute significantly to the branding of Israel and to strengthening its ties with China.