by Md Shahadat Hossain
Shibo, the shorter version of shijie bolanhui, is possibly the most widely spoken two chinese characters among all chinese people since 1st May 2010. Meaning of shijie bolanhui being world international fair, the mass Chinese people while speaking have made it shorter by saying only “shibo”, taking first part of both “shijie” meaning the world and also the “bolanhui” meaning the International Fair. Yes, these two chinese characters have become most popular due to the mega event Expo 2010 Shanghai, China which indeed started since 1st May and would continue for six months until October 31, 2010.
The information regarding this expo are widely available on-line as well as in many printed documents and as such, not emphasizing this into consideration, the aim of this writing is to express one of the most effective measures by which the culture, tourism, sports and trade in Bangladesh may be further promoted to chinese and world visitors during the period of world expo.
Bangladesh was the 188th country to sign for joining this mega event in Shanghai, China with the theme “Spirit and Growth of Golden Bengal.” The Bangladeshi pavilion has been designed highlighting the blending of tradition and the future potentialities of the nation. The pavilion entrance is decorated with colorful traditional Bangladeshi patterns. Pictures of new urban areas, models of traditional Bangladeshi architecture, and a small sculpture are all featured inside the pavilion. Visitors can indulge in traditional Bangladeshi food too at the catering booth inside. So much has already been ensured.
The Bangladesh Pavilion has already launched a vigorous campaign on July 19th to promote the Sundarbans Forest, its UNESCO world heritage and a candidate on the finalist's list of the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World which will be announced on November 11, 2011 among all 28 candidates from six continents. The eyes and minds of many chinese and world visitors were attracted on 19th July by the beauties of Sundarbans Forests in particular and the natural heritage of Bangladesh in general which was indeed also a rare opportunity for the country to promote tourism, culture, sports and trade in Bangladesh. Thanks to the organizers of world expo indeed.
Some 70 million visitors, mostly Chinese, are expected to visit the enormous site over the six months that the fair is open, that means an average of more than 380,000 people is expected to visit each day thus The Expo 2010 Shanghai, China is definitely one of the good efforts to bring the world community together. Some 430,300 people entered the Expo site by 7pm on 23 August 2010, bringing the total number of Expo visitors to 44.12 million up to that time. Among the visitors of this particular day, 119,000 came in tour groups and 59,000 were local residents using complimentary tickets offered by the Shanghai government. A total of 73,067 tickets were also sold at the gates, 27,570 of them for evening visit. However, the cool weather on 28 August more than 520,000 visitors crowded the Expo site by 7pm and every day’s such flow brought the total number of Expo visitors to 47.17 million as of August 2010.
A pavilion normally sees an average of 15-30,000 people every day, however, Nepal Pavilion is being visited by more than 30 thousand visitors every day, according to on-line information. The number is even more than 50 thousands during the weekends and holidays. As of 30 June, Nepal's National Pavilion at the ongoing Expo 2010 Shanghai has been visited by more than 2 million visitors which was possible as there has been extensive coverage of Nepal National Pavilion by Chinese media - radio, television, newspapers and magazines, besides, also being in the close proximity to Chinese Pavilion.
Any particular pavilion is also visited by more number of visitors during the National Pavilion Day. Normally each pavilion celebrates its own national pavilion day at a prescheduled date which is well pre-announced and pre-circulated for the information of incoming visitors. According to the plan Bangladesh Pavilion would celebrate its National Pavilion Day on 20th September 2010 and would display special attractions for the visitors according to the plan of organizers of Bangladesh Pavilion which would obviously attract maximum visitors to Bangladesh Pavilion on that day. Taking this date to be another opportunity for attracting more visitors and also to promote Bangladesh culture, tourism, sports and trade, two special initiatives may be undertaken by Bangladesh, in addition to whatever is being planned already.
A well-composed, and obviously non-political, Bangladeshi strong team may come for visiting Expo 2010 Shanghai, China during National Pavilion Day of Bangladesh. The team may be composed of famous as well as significant personalities of Bangladesh covering all important sectors of culture, tourism, sports and trade. Personality like Nobel Laurite Muhammad Yunus may be requested to lead such team to Shanghai where our national hero, the first Bangladeshi Everest Conqueror Mr. Musa Ibrahim and such other important personalities at national level may be there. Besides, representatives from different tribes and religions, children and elderly freedom fighters may also be part of the team. It may specially be mentioned that representatives of capable Bangladeshi tour operators under the leadership of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC, Bangladesh National Tourism Organization) may also join the team with their effective marketing presentations and other documents related to the promotion of tourism in Bangladesh. Representatives of selected media would of course also be part of the visiting team. All these may quickly be organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of Bangladesh or any other government authority/ agency in coordination with Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing as well as organizers of Bangladesh Pavilion.
It may also be mentioned that deliberate media coverage, as Nepal did for their pavilion, would be required to make such visit more successful. There has to be coverage by Chinese media - radio, television, newspapers and magazines including the press briefing at both Bangladesh and China end. It has to be understood by the planners how and where media can take Bangladesh if organized successfully. In this connection the role of media, both electronic and print, would be very important for organizing such team and also to take appropriate preparations for the over all promotion of Bangladesh.
Efforts may also be undertaken on that very day at Bangladesh end. The similar symbolic National Pavilion Day may be organized at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre or any Stadium where representatives of all countries may specially be invited while the venue may remain open to all, specially foreigners. Special displays related to the culture, tourism, sports and trade may be organized for the incoming visitors. During this symbolic National Pavilion Day, visitors may specially be served with Bangladeshi and Chinese Tea only as part of celebrating Expo 2010 Shanghai, China as well as to mark the 35th anniversary of China Bangladesh relationship. Any such step would definitely and also specially attract all the Chinese medias which would carry the message of Bangladesh to maximum number of Chinese people in the process.
There may be one big question related to all these i.e., who would provide the Fund? Well, the budget required for undertaking such initiatives may be financed by the government from the appropriate head or may also be coordinated and collected from interested sponsors related to culture, tourism, sports and trade. It is assumed that finding required sponsors for the interest of better exposures of Bangladesh to out side world won’t be a big problem if the initiative is undertaken by appropriate government authority. We have experienced in the past how generously different banks, medias, national and multinational organizations have extended their cooperation for different events. It is expected that they would also consider sponsoring such initiatives as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. However, two expert conveners would be required to organize such initiatives quickly within this shortest possible time ahead of the National Pavilion Day of Bangladesh, i.e., 20th September 2010.
Initiatives may also be undertaken by any individual or combined small groups to visit Expo 2010 Shanghai China during that time or any time before October 31, with the aim of exploring expo shanghai for carrying back some thing better and best for own mother land Bangladesh. Different event management groups, real-estate group, security companies, representatives from different wards under municipalities may also visit expo 2010 Shanghai to see for themselves the over all management style, cleanliness, measures of environmental protection, traffic system, discipline of the people etc to get the test of “better city, better life”. It is assumed that they would automatically have positive impacts in their mind sets which may later help them to implement the same in Bangladesh being self motivated. Local Chinese Embassy at Dhaka may also be generous enough to extend their cooperative help so that interested visitors may easily get their visas and here also, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism or Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh may take initiatives to coordinate with local Chinese Embassy.
The related information regarding Expo 2010 Shanghai, China is widely available in their official web link http://en.expo2010.cn/ , besides, it is acknowledged that the pictures and data used for this write up are taken from different web links related to Expo 2010 Shanghai China. It is also assumed that this write up would possibly attract the eyes and minds of concern authorities as well as self motivated organizers and sponsors. Long live world expo, long live Bangladesh China Cooperation.
Special Note: This paper is written by “Freelance Bangladesh-China Consultant” Lt Col (Retd) Md. Shahadat Hossain, psc, MBA, MDS, Diploma in Chinese Language, on behalf of Zhong Meng Enterprise (ZME).
Zhong Meng Enterprise (ZME)
(Bangladesh-China Affairs Business and General Consultancy, Sourcing Products between Bangladesh and China, Promoting Tourism, Culture and Sports between Bangladesh and China, Conducting Spoken Chinese Language Course, Promoting Social Works and Businesses in Bangladesh and China)
Office: Ka 9/A (3rd floor), Road # 12, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Tel: 0088-02-9897533, Fax: 02-9897644, Cell: 01716097874, 01819434583