A total of 187 countries and international organizations have confirmed their participation at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, organizers said here Sunday.
The number has already set a record in the World Expo history, surpassing the previous record held by Hanover, Germany, in 2000, said Zhu Yonglei, deputy director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.
"Shanghai will strive to get confirmation from 200 countries or international organizations by the end of 2008," said Zhu.
The city has just started to organize domestic participants. On Jan. 2, Hong Kong SAR government submitted its theme statement, an official document to confirm the theme of its pavilion to the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.
Currently, four major permanent buildings of the Expo, including the China National Pavilion, have all started construction.
Shanghai unveiled its mascot for the Expo last month. The mascot is named Haibao, literally means "treasure of the world". The blue smiling cartoon figure has curly hair and is in the shape of Chinese character REN, or human beings.
The expo, which runs May 1 to October 31, 2010, was expected to draw 70 million visitors, an average of 400,000 a day.
It was the first time for the event to be held in a developing country since the inaugural fair in London in 1851. Shanghai won its bid for the expo in December 2002.