Expo Milano 2015 gets started on May 1 and continues until October 31. The exposition site, which covers one million square metres on the western outskirts of Milan (in the Municipality of Rho), will remain open every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There will be 54 pavilions managed autonomously by individual countries to valorise the tradition of their own food culture, to which an additional seven companies and associations will be added; there will be nine themed clusters that include countries that share a similar agricultural identity (from coffee to cereals, chocolate to rice and more); lastly, there will be four themed pavilions, the Zero Pavilion, the Future Food District, the Children’s Park and the Biodiversity Pavilion. The Palazzo Italia will be the heart of the Expo: the large exposition area is made up of polyhedral shapes that fit into each other.
The Italian Pavilion is the most impressive structure and consists of three parts: the Palazzo Italia, the Tree of Life, which rises above Lake Arena, and the Cardo street, that is, the short side that runs through the site, a sort of main road dotted with smaller themed spaces, dedicated to Italian regional productions.
Once the site will be finished, the managing phase will begin: it is calculated that there will be 4-5,000 people, between Italians and foreigners, involved in the pavilions and in the clusters; a further 9,000 employees under contract by Expo, and an additional 1,000 workers with the management company.
As of two days ago, 10 million tickets had been sold to tour operators and sponsors. The managing company is aiming for 20 million tickets in the May-October period, between 5 and 6 million of which will be from abroad.
China is the largest investor in the the 2015 Expo, after Italy. Three pavilions are dedicated to China: the national pavilion, the pavilion of the construction company, Vanke, and the China Corporate United Pavilion.
During the six months of Expo, China is also the country that will bring the greatest number of visiting delegations to Milan: 17, already made official, are from as many provinces; 3 more are from the city of Shanghai. In addition, thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs are expected to attend the exhibit.
The reason for this huge Chinese commitment is the intention of the Beijing Government to invest heavily in Italy, with acquisitions, industrial partnerships and distribution agreements.
Italy is the European country where Beijing has invested the most in 2014, ie the year in which – according to the rating agency Dagong Europe – the Chinese capital sent to the Old Continent reached its record high with $18 billion.
“Expo is a great opportunity to weave a future partnership,” said Shengjun Ji, president of iluxday and vice-president of Orient International Holding. “For over 40 years we have dealt with exports and we have already worked with several Italian companies. Now, however, China’s needs have changed, we need foreign products for our consumers: this is why we are now refocusing our business on import processes”.
“We see a great economic potential in the Italian products that have quality and design, and we want to work with your brands. Not only on the e-commerce platform: after testing the products on the website for four seasons, we want to become complete distributors on the Chinese market,” added Shengjun Ji to Il Sole 24 Ore – Italy24.
http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/business-and-economy/2015-04-24/expo-apertura-162011.php?uuid=ABawyzUD; http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/business-and-economy/2015-04-24/expo-cina-145200.php?uuid=ABNAUtUD; http://content.time.com/time/covers/asia/0,16641,20051205,00.html