Shanghai spruces up ahead of import expo

With just 100 days until the start of the China International Import Expo, officials and many others across Shanghai are rolling up their sleeves to prepare for the event. 


Provided by Shanghai Information Office

Xinhua

Construction workers move paving stones yesterday outside the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

With just 100 days until the start of the China International Import Expo, officials and many others across Shanghai are rolling up their sleeves to prepare for the event. Here’s a look at some of the behind-the-scenes work being done to make this widely-anticipated trade gala a success.

Customs

Shanghai Customs is gearing up for the expo with simplified clearance procedures and more measures to facilitate exhibitors, customs officials announced yesterday.

Companion animals — so far only dog or cat — will be allowed into China with documents like quarantine certificates and vaccination reports. One exhibition participant can take one pet, if needed.

Pet owners from countries where rabies is prevalent should also bring a rabies antibody report issued by a laboratory accredited by the World Organization for Animal Health. Such pets should undergo an on-the-spot quarantine test as well.

Some special items, like biological products for personal medical use, are permitted for entry but should be limited to one course of treatment. Such products will go through a check given by customs’ special item approving system.

The General Administration of Customs issued four documents last month related to expo customs clearance, facilitation measures, banned inspection and quarantine items, and restricted items.

Li Jin, a local customs official, listed a number of banned and restricted goods at the press conference. “For example, beef and lamb products from countries with foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks are banned from being exhibited or sold at the import expo, as well as food, edible agricultural products and fodder from Fukushima and other nine areas in Japan which are prohibited from import due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.”

Expo venue

The National Exhibition and Convention Center is upgrading its power, drainage, fire control, communication, wiring and parking facilities in preparation for the weeklong expo.

It plans to set up four one-stop service zones with officers from various service providers, financial, insurance and trade organizations; as well as related departments like customs, food and drug administration, industrial and commercial authorities and the tax bureau. Consulting points will be placed in exhibition areas and passageways.

Multilingual translating devices will also be available at the venue, along with a 24-hour hotline.

The center will set up a positioning and navigation system for both indoor and outdoor areas to offer digital guidance services during the expo. Volunteers will be located around the service sites with bilingual markers in each corner.

It will also coordinate with city’s Metro operator to add extra trains during peak hours. Green channels will be opened for disabled people and other special groups.

The center will further work with transport authorities to open bus routes which can connect the center with the airport, transport hub, hotels and key downtown areas.

Restaurants for groups like Muslims and vegetarians will also be established at the center, along with an area specially for Shanghainese food.

The construction of exhibition booths is said to be ecological-friendly and will obey the “six R’s”: respect, renew, reuse, recycle, reduce and remember.

Airports

Passengers at Hongqiao airport can now order shuttle services within terminal buildings, or to Hongqiao railway station, as one of a series of new services launched by the airport authority yesterday.

The electric vehicle shuttle service, which is free for seniors and physically challenged passengers, is now available through the mobile app Variflight as part of efforts to support the import expo, the Shanghai Airport Authority announced.

Online booking is also available for customized shuttle bus lines from airport terminals to downtown destinations through midnight, according to the authority.

Other new services include online reservation for VIP lounges at Terminals 1 and 2 at Hongqiao airport.

The airport authority has renovated bumpy roads, planted more greenery and dredged surrounding waterways to prepare for the first import expo, the authority said.

Staff with the airport authority, airlines and customs inspection yesterday pledged to offer the most efficient and high quality services to customers during the expo period.

The Hongqiao transport hub and the convention center are among the key areas to welcome and serve participants to the expo, said Fei Xiaomei, deputy director with the management committee of the Hongqiao Central Business District.

“The service sector within the area, especially the airport, must train their staff again and optimize their procedures to present a great impression to the visitors and participants,” Fei said.

Greenery

Three large vertical flowerbeds in People’s Square, Lujiazui and the Bund will be installed in honor of the China International Import Expo, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said yesterday.

Red and yellow, the colors of the Chinese flag, will also be featured in plant decorations during the expo.

About 290,000 square meters of green spaces, along with more than 70 flowerbeds and flower landscapes, will be added around the National Exhibition and Convention Center, the bureau added.

The renovation of 1.4 million square meters of greenery, and the arrangement of more than 8,400 flowers and about 2,500 square meters of vertical plants around the center are also on the agenda, said the bureau.

The bureau will focus on 16 major tasks for the expo. These include cleaning, facility maintenance, landscape upgrades and public sanitation management around the Hongqiao Business District and Lujiazui, as well as hotels, major streets, airports and railway stations.

In addition, building, street-side and riverine lighting around the convention center will also be improved, according to the scheme.

Medical support

An import expo medical and health support team organized by city's health and family planning commission will set up four medical service stations at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, one in each of the branches, where paramedics and volunteers will be deployed.

The Shanghai Medical Emergency Center will dispatch  ambulances equipped with emergency medical facilities to the center.

Eighteen local hospitals will serve as the designated hospitals for the import expo. The Red Cross Society of China's local branch will install automated external defibrillators at the center and train volunteers to use these devices.

District projects

Qingpu District has invested more than 5 billion yuan (US$735 million) to improve the infrastructure and environment around the National Exhibition and Convention Center in eight aspects to secure a successful import expo, said Chen Qingjiang, deputy Party secretary of the district.

The district divided the area around the center into three zones, where 68 projects will be undertaken to improve the traffic, environment, telecom, security and power supply in the area before the end of September.

Xumin Road, Huilong Road, Panlong Road, Zhuguang Road and Tianshan Road W. will be widened. An underground passage will be built to connect Zhuguang Road and Songze Avenue. By the time the import exhibition is held, people will be able to cross the street underground to avoid traffic.

Meanwhile, an overpass linking the expo venue and Zhuguang Road Station will be built.

While widening the roads, infrastructure projects are under construction simultaneously. On Xumin Road, a main road at the west of the expo venue, workers are moving overhead cables as well as upgrading the drainage pipeline system underground.

“We will place 46 screens at road junctions around the area,” said Chen. “Information about parking lots and traffic dispersion will be displayed to help people coming to the expo or passing by.”

Eleven parking depots with 10,391 car parks have been arranged near the expo venue. The temporary public transport hub outside East Xujing Metro Station will be removed by the end of the month.

At Xiaolaigang River, a small creek runs beside the expo venue, so the district are dredging the waterway to make the water clearer. Greenbelts are also being planted.

“River training and greenery planting used to require the collaboration of multiple government bodies,” said Zhu Qi, head of the district’s Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau. “We have now entrusted a company to coordinate all environmental projects so that we can work more efficiently.”

The work at Xiaolaigang River is almost complete.



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