Trade ministry fund-raises for expo

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MASERU — The Ministry of Trade says it will, beginning this Saturday, hold campaigns to raise extra cash for the World Expo in Shanghai, China, which starts in June.
The principal secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Co-operatives and Marketing, Teleko Ramotsoari, said preparations for the expo were underway.
“We are organising and are asking for funding from businesses, companies and individuals as a way of increasing the funds,” he said.
“But construction works at the Lesotho pavilion are already in progress, and we are already in preparations to go to the Expo,” Ramotsoari said.
The trade ministry has been charged with organising and co-ordinating Lesotho’s participation at the world’s biggest expo in China which runs from May to October. At least 200 countries are expected to exhibit their products at the expo.
Ramotsoari said the expo will give Lesotho an excellent platform to market itself internationally.
“Countries from all over the world will be attending the expo to attract investments and market their products. This will give us a chance to meet with international investors,” Ramotsoari said.
Ramotsoari said the main objective in participating at the expo was investment promotion.
“We will be aggressively involved in investment promotion campaigns and also marketing the country as a destination for international tourists,” he said.
He said local producers had been invited to exhibit some of their products at the expo and expose their products to international markets. 
The government of China last year gave Lesotho and other developing countries US$650 000 each to help with the preparations.
About 38 African countries are expected to participate at the Shanghai 2010 Expo.
Lesotho attended the last expo in Hannover, Germany, that was held in 2000.

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