By  on January 28, 2010

BEIJING — For six months beginning in May, Shanghai will be turned into what might be best described as the world’s largest trade fair, with countries and companies from around the globe showcasing their wares to a Chinese audience.

The World Expo opens May 1, and organizers predict the vast complex of pavilions and exhibitions will host 70 million visitors over its half-year run. Ninety-five percent of those visitors will be domestic tourists from within China. Hence, participating countries and companies believe the event offers unprecedented potential to reach the often-elusive domestic Chinese consumer market. But questions remain about the long-term impact of the Expo on brands, both international and domestic, and also on Shanghai’s retail market.

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