Chengdu's role in China will only grow more prominent with time. It is imperative that mainland and foreign experts in the economic, cultural and social fields take note of this. The city has a lot on its plate - economic expansion, environmental issues and an increasingly demanding and ambitious population. Areas where expertise is needed include advertising, public relations, environmental protection - city planning and the preservation and renovation of old neighbourhoods - the arts and education. Partnerships in any of these fields - and others, ranging from information technology to waste management - are vital for Chengdu's development from a provincial capital with regional clout to a metropolitan city with national influence and international standing. Sichuan's many treasures may be famous in China, but what is needed is also expertise in the promotion of its culture and history abroad.