Bhutan gets ready for World Expo 2005

By Karma Choden, Kuensel Online, November 24, 2004

Timphu, Bhutan -- The four main structures consisting of a Tempa (Buddha) Thongdrel , namgay khangzang (altars), a statue of Lord Buddha and gomo rabsey (three pillars) will be the highlights of the Bhutanese pavilion at the World Exposition 2005 in Aichi, Japan.

The structures will be shipped to Japan at the end of this month where it will be reassembled at the venue according to the project officials.
Bhutan is among 120 countries and eight international organisations participating in the six-month long World Exposition which will be held from March 25 to September 25, 2005.

The deputy minister of the National Environment Commission, Dasho Nado Rinchhen, Bhutan?s Commissioner General for the 2005 Expo said the main structures were built in Bhutan to cut expenses. ?Japan is an expensive country and the cost of labour is very high,? he said.

Initially the total cost of the pavilion was estimated at US$ 1.2 million but because of financial constraints the pavilion is now been designed within a cost of US$ 600,000 said the deputy minister.

?We had to go in for a modest one and several aspects of the initial plan had to be reorganised,? said Dasho Nado Rinchhen.

The Japanese government is providing support to build the pavilion.

A model village depicting the life of rural Bhutan would also be one of the highlights of the Bhutanese pavilion in tune with the chosen theme of ?Art of Life?. ?Nature?s Matrix? and ?Development for Eco-Communities? are the other two sub-themes at the Expo.

Besides the main structures, Bhutanese pavilion will also showcase other exhibits like handicrafts and textiles. A commercial stall will also be set up where textiles and handicrafts items would be sold.

About 15 million people are expected to participate in the 2005 World Expo.