For those following the will they – won’t they debacle regarding the United States pavilion at the 2010 Expo, the latest news is that the US will officially be attending. Not only are plans on track to sign a contract, but -what’s this?- fundraising is right on target!
Never mind the fact that the original deadline to start construction passed last week, due to concerns that “if work on a pavilion starts after June 30 this year, it can’t be completed before May 1 next year.”
According to the Shanghai Daily, the US’ participation contract will be signed once enough money has been raised to start building the pavilion. Last we checked, PepsiCo had pledged five million dollars towards the Expo, though any additional funds after that were unclear.
Now the figures suddenly stand at $20 million raised, thanks to General Electric, PepsiCo, 3M, Dell, Yum!, Cargill, Golden Eagle and the USA-China Education, Science and Culture Association. Another $40 million in contracts is supposedly still being negotiated; the total budget for the pavilion is estimated to land around $61 million.
Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s recent backing of the US pavilion led to more companies to step up and pledge money. According to one organizer, the Expo is a golden opportunity “to launch the new face of America and show how we want to cooperate with the rest of the world.”
The US pavilion is to be one of the largest at the Expo, so from here on, building and fundraising are going to continue simultaneously. The theme for the pavilion, by the way, is (ironically) “Rise to the Challenge”.