9.12.2014 12:00

Slovenia Signs a Participation Agreement with Expo Milano 2015 within the Framework of an Official Visit of the Slovenian Prime Minister to Milan

Milano, 9 December - Slovenia has signed an agreement on participation in EXPO MILANO 2015 within the framework of an official visit of Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek to Milan. The public agency SPIRIT Slovenia is tasked with coordinating the activities for Slovenia's appearance at the exhibition, in cooperation with various ministries.

As many as 139 countries have already confirmed their participation, accounting for some 86% of the world's population; moreover, the World Expo is also a key economic event for Slovenia since Italy is Slovenia's second most important trading partner, its first in terms of the number of tourist visitors and the third largest foreign investor in Slovenia. Cooperation with Lombardy in various fields has been at the highest level, with Milan in particular as an important international economic, scientific, cultural, design and fashion centre.

The organisers expect to draw some 20 million visitors into the exhibition, the majority being Italians (15,000,000, which means that every fourth expo visitor will be Italian). Given that the host country is also our neighbour, the presentation of Slovenia in Milan, compared to previous world exhibitions, is of even greater significance.

The Expo will run for six months (from 1 May to 31 October 2015). In the exhibition area, which measures some one million square metres, Slovenia has been guaranteed an independent pavilion in an excellent location at the very centre of the Expo. Expo Milano 2015 follows the basic world exhibition objective of public education, with its slogan "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" indicating the exposition's central theme, i.e. food.

The World Expo is an important event held every five years; in general terms, expositions are managed by the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris. The dimension of the World Expo can hardly be compared to a larger or a different kind of exhibition.

As an example, we might point to the Eiffel Tower, which, as a symbol of the Industrial Age, was built in Paris when the city hosted its world exposition in 1889. The original intention of this steel structure, standing as a symbol of Paris, was just to set off the world exhibition, but today one cannot imagine Paris without its magnificent Eiffel Tower.

The Italian market is of paramount importance to Slovenia's tourism, since Italy is among the top ranking countries in terms of both the number of tourist arrivals and realised overnight stays (and the first according to 2012 data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia). Italians are mostly attracted by our coast, active holidays in the Julian Alps, spas, wellness breaks and gaming.

Consistent with the core idea of the Expo Milano 2015 that everyone on the planet should have access to food that is healthy, safe and sufficient, Slovenia's presentation will focus on Slovenian food in connection with tourism and, in general, on all activities which include sub-themes, such as sustainability, ecology, green innovation and healthy lifestyles. Slovenian cuisine is one of diversity in a relatively small geographical area; the common thread throughout Slovenia's appearance at the Expo will be the slogan "Slovenia. Green. Active. Healthy.", with the focus on the promotion and visibility of the I Feel Slovenia brand.

Expo Milano 2015 offers an excellent opportunity for the international promotion and consolidation of Slovenia's reputation in Italy - the host county of the forthcoming World Exhibition - and indeed around the world. The strengthening of our neighbourly and inter-state relations also means the strengthening of economic, cultural and other ties.