The United States has yet to raise the money it needs to take part in next year's World Expo in Shanghai, but organisers said Friday they remain optimistic it will do so.
Under US law, no public funds can be used to pay for the American pavilions at world fairs, the next of which takes place in Shanghai next year, said Zhou Jun, head of Expo 2010's international exhibitions.
A non-profit group has submitted design ideas for a US pavilion and is trying to raise money from corporations and private donors, Zhou said.
Chinese organisers remain optimistic that there will be a US pavilion, but the event will be a success even if the Americans do not participate, he added.
"Expo is Expo. If there is not a US pavilion people will feel regret but it will still be the Expo," Zhou told reporters at a briefing.
A total of 185 countries and 47 international organisations have committed to participate in the six-month-long Expo, which begins on May 1, 2010 and is touted as the third biggest international event after the Olympics and the World Cup, Expo 2010 deputy director general Zhu Yonglei said.
A 100-million-dollar fund has been set up by the Shanghai municipal government to help developing countries cover the cost of participating in the fair, Zhu said, but added the US would not qualify for aid from the fund.
He expressed hope the Americans would take part in the event because of the important relationship between China and the US, and suggested the Expo could tie in with US President Barack Obama's efforts to improve America's image.
"The failure of the US to participate would be a regret for visitors to the Expo, but it would be a greater regret to the US," Zhu said.