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Austrian Official Says Country Can't Miss Shanghai Expo

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An Austrian official says the upcoming Shanghai Expo 2010 is very important to his country's development and "therefore we can't be absent" from the international event.

"China ... is a very important partner to Austria, no matter in the aspect of economy or politics. China will play an active role in the world's development in the future," said Birgit Murr, vice chief representative of Austria's section at the upcoming exposition. "Hence, it is very important for us to participate in the Shanghai Expo."

The Shanghai Expo will open in two weeks and Austria is at its last stage of preparation for the event.

Murr told Xinhua during a recent interview that the Expo will prove to be a platform for worldwide contact and understanding. Such exchanges, she said, also may be an opportunity for Austria to reverse the downturn trend of its economy.

Murr said there was "not a question whether Austria wants to participate in the Expo, but a conclusion that Austria must attend."

Austria has invested about 16 million euros (about US$21.6 million) in the construction of a pavilion in the Expo Garden.

The inspiration of Austria's pavilion came from a sailing boat, with a tactile impression of porcelain in the pavilion's interior design.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2010)

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