Chinese officials insist next year's World Expo in Shanghai has enough sponsorship and enough participants to be a success, despite the pressures of the current worldwide economic crisis.
Some 232 countries and organisations have signed up to take part in the technology and innovation showcase, although several have scaled back their plans.
With just over 400 days to go until the exhibition opens, the United States has yet to confirm its attendance because it's struggling to find the money to build its pavilion.
US law prohibits the use of public money to build an Expo pavilion, and it's proving hard to raise the cash needed from other sources.
The US has missed World Expo before, but a failure to attend next year's event would be seen as a major snub by many Chinese.
Are these necessary anymore? I remember going to Expo 86 in Vancouver as a kid and it was alot of fun. I got to learn more about places like Kenya and Peru.
But nowadays, with technology and the internet, isn't is unnecessary to have world exhibit when everyone know everything about the world already? Since I haven't been to an Expo in over 20 years, what goes on in these pavilions now? Is it anything special that you wouldn't see at an IT fair or the recent SXSW conference in Austin.
I think the world has advanced well beyond the days of Expo 67 in Montreal and Expo 86 in Vancouver. I remember Calgary made a bid for Expo 2005 but lost to Aichi, Japan. I wonder how much that would have changed Calgary. Maybe we would have had that northern bypass highway already instead of chugging along 16th Ave!