The Economy, Energy and Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday it has provided over 2.2 million leva (over 1.12 million euro) to finance Bulgaria's participation in Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.
Bulgaria is a traditional participant in international Expo shows. The organization of the national participation in Expo 2010, including the building of the national booth, has been assigned to the International Fair of Plovdiv.
Тhe Ministry statement comes a day after the news media quoted the Plovdiv Fair management as saying that the Bulgarian participation in Expo 2010 is about to fail because the Economy Ministry had not provided funding.
Expo 2010 will be held between May 1 and October 31. Its theme will be "Better City, Better Life". More than 200 participants, including countries, international organizations and leading companies, are expected at the show.
The theme of the Bulgarian national participation in the show is "City of Shared Heritage". The Bulgarian booth occupies an area of 324 square metres, as large as the Bulgarian booth at Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. The concept of the Bulgarian national presentation in Shanghai is centred on the meeting of the times in the cultural space of the Bulgarian city. The key element is the combination of the historical and cultural heritage with modern life in the city.
A total of 2,231,650 leva has been provided to finance the Bulgarian participation in Expo 2010, including 1,321,650 leva from the budget of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Ministry and 910,000 leva in additional financial aid from China. Considering the current financial crisis, this is the largest possible amount of financing which the Bulgarian State can provide for the country's participation in the show, the press release says.
Originally, the financing was set at 4,685,156 leva. In the spring of 2009 the Economy, Energy and Tourism Ministry asked the Finance Ministry for additional financing, but it was not provided.
The money provided from the national budget for Bulgaria's participation in the previous Expo, in Zaragoza in 2008, was 3,028,275 leva.