Peel chairman visits World Expo

John Whittaker visited the World Expo in Shanghai as Liverpool recorded the 400,000th visitor to the city's pavilion.

Whittaker visited the pavilion before receiving an honorary degree from Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University, together with Prof Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of the executive committee for World Expo 2010.

During his visit to the Expo, Whittaker spoke with the Consul General for Manchester Ni Jian about Peel's Liverpool and Wirral Waters schemes, as well as his company's progress with Media City UK in Salford Quays.

Whittaker was joined by Peel's development director, Lindsey Ashworth, who said: "There has been a huge amount of interest in the pavilion and as a regular visitor I can tell you that it is not all about the Beatles and football.

"They may help to attract people to the pavilion, but when visitors are in they see and appreciate the diverse assets of the city and the wider North West region, because there is so much information in the pavilion about business, about education and about tourism.

"It has helped us and others who are committed to helping Liverpool in Shanghai and I cannot stress enough that face-to-face contact is the best way to do business out here, it's the kind of contact we hope will pay dividends."

Ashworth visited Shanghai before heading to Beijing with Mike Taylor, deputy chief executive of Liverpool Vision, to meet with an unnamed potential real estate investor. Details of what was being discussed were not disclosed.

Taylor added: "Our private sector sponsors are reporting excellent business activity through the pavilion and are in no doubt that our presence in Shanghai is helping them to make the right inroads into new and potentially lucrative markets."

Peel is lead sponsor of the Liverpool stand having contributed £100,000 while the city is the only UK city to have a dedicated pavilion at the Expo which has been running since the start of May this year.

The World Expo runs until 31 October 2010.

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