Businesses brainstorm to get most from Milan Expo
Themes range from culture to agribusiness16 August, 16:32
Milan's chamber of commerce has developed what it terms a round-table of different themes aimed at helping businesses find the best path to follow to become part of the World's Fair that begins in less than two years' time.
The eight basic themes within the round table include approaches for the non-profit and volunteer sector, the hospitality industry, agricultural businesses, artistic and cultural affairs, and young entrepreneurs interested in joining the international event. And already more than 300 Expo-related projects have been proposed by businesses through the round-table with a connection to the world's fair, organizers say.
Among the projects presented in the agri-food sector is a new logistical system designed by Aice - the Italian Association of Commerce Abroad - in Milan, designed to help importers and exporters both to find market connections, particularly in the agricultural sector.
A specific goal is to provide an Italian contact point, so foreign companies can feel more confident in finding the right Italian partner.
Meanwhile, the youth round-table has brought together young entrepreneurs with ideas for business startups such as a social network for fashion enthusiasts designed by students at the MIP Politecnico di Milano.
It is expected that a great number of business opportunities will grow out of the fair, and not only for Italian businesses. The foreign ministry has previously said that the number of tourism and business visas for Italy has been on the rise, with further increases expected as part of the preparations for Milan Expo 2015.
Almost 1.9 million visas were issued in 2012, a 9% increase over the previous year, the ministry reported.
Expo 2015 in Milan is likely to boost visa requests by another 700,000, the ministry has said.
Food and agricultural business ventures dovetail particularly well with the Milan Expo's theme: 'Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life', which centres on fighting famine and malnutrition worldwide through sustainable and healthy development, global cooperation and new technology.
The Milan Expo, which runs May 1 until October 31, 2015, is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors and to be a massive money spinner for the city known as Italy's business capital.
Preparations on a 1.1-million-square-meter site have been underway for years.
Expo 2015 has already exceeded its participation goal by signing up 131 countries from around the globe to join in a World's Fair dedicated to sustainable nutrition around the globe.
Organizers were aiming to reach at least 130 member countries and seems now on pace to sign up many more than that.
Several large players, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain have not yet signed on but are expected to participate. Italy last hosted a World's Fair in 1992 with a Christopher Columbus-themed Expo in Genoa.