1.5.2015 15:00

Opening of the Expo Milan 2015 - Slovenia raising reputation and profile in the international arena

Milano, 1 May - The world exhibition which will run in Milan between until 31st October 2015 was launched on 1st May; the visitors were welcomed at the opening ceremony also by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, while Pope Francis touched on famine and the lack of food in the world. Taking part in the world exhibition are 145 countries from around the world, which represents as much as 98% of the world's population, and the show is expected to be visited by 20 million people.

Milan, Italy
The Slovenian pavilion at the Expo 2015 show.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

For Slovenia, which is being promoted in Milan with its own pavilion and the slogan I feel Slovenia.Green.Active.Healthy., the presentation at the Expo show is very important in terms of promotion and economy, even more so because Italy is our important economic partner. As a show of countries, the world exhibition is an opportunity for Slovenia to present itself to the global public through the architecture of the pavilion, a permanent exhibition at the pavilion and a diverse programme focussing on the topic of the world exhibition - food and sub-topics such as for example innovation in sustainable development and green technologies. This year's world exhibition is trying to find an answer to how to secure enough and quality food for the entire world's population at a time of growing climate change and excessive use of natural resources. The Slovenian pavilion is located near the Italian pavilion at the crossroads of two main streets close to the "Open Air Theatre", which will feature shows for large groups of visitors on a daily basis. This exceptional location will further help Slovenia to raise its reputation and profile among the global public. Today Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek opened the Business Centre in the Slovenian pavilion. The Business Centre will help Slovenian companies in their promotion and search for new business partners. The pavilion will also feature a diverse accompanying programme put together with ten Slovenian statistical regions; between 1st and 14th May, the Obalno-kraška region will be promoting its culture, tourism and food.

The Slovenian pavilion is made mostly of natural materials, namely wood and glass. Its complex structure reflects Slovenian know-how in wood construction. The pavilion was designed by the architecture studio SoNo Arhitekti d.o.o. and built by the company Lumar d.o.o. It reflects the geographical diversity of Slovenia from the Alps to the unique underground world and the Mediterranean.

Slovenia is being promoted through five themes in the permanent exhibition, which are presented to visitors in an interesting and interactive manner: salt, honey bees, thermal and mineral water, hiking and cycling, and measuring black carbon particles in the atmosphere. Added to food, salt significantly improves the taste of the food. Owing to the traditional production method, the Piran salt keeps all the minerals and is naturally white. Bee-keeping has a long tradition in Slovenia and we are one of the world leaders in apitourism (for instance honey massage or breathing aerosol in bee-hives). At the world exhibition we would like to highlight the role of honey bees as pollinators, when as many as one third of all food depends on honey bees. Water is one of the more important topics of this year's world exhibition and Slovenia is rich in thermal and mineral waters. Thermal spas are meant for relaxation of the body and mind and Slovenia bottles mineral waters with the highest content of magnesium in the world. A healthy lifestyle includes a healthy diet as well as exercising in nature. All year long, Slovenia offers excellent opportunities for hiking and cycling as well as adventure sports. Only a healthy environment is suitable for growing healthy food and measuring black carbon particles in the atmosphere is a "Slovenian project" for the planet's green future. Flying a Slovenian plane designed by the company Pipistrel, Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič used a measuring device of the Slovenian company Aerosol to measure the concentration of the second biggest cause of the green house effect, black carbon (the biggest polluter is CO2). This was an exceptional achievement, given that the concentration of black carbon particles was measured even at the most remote parts of the world such as the Arctic.

Internationalisation of Slovenian companies is certainly one of the goals of Slovenia's presentation at the world exhibition. Companies have a chance to get promoted within the Slovenian pavilion or get registered on the on-line business platform to find new business partners or take part in business delegation which will be organised by the public agency SPIRIT Slovenija and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Business delegations organised by the European Commission, which will focus mostly on the food sector, will also present opportunities for promotion. The first such delegation will be organised on 6th and 7th May and will focus on networking Slovenian companies with companies from Turkey and Mediterranean countries. The Business Centre at the Slovenian pavilion will offer assistance to Slovenian companies and facilitate coordination. Concrete business opportunities and a schedule of business events within the Expo show will be regularly posted on the websites www.izvoznookno.si and www.exposlovenia.si

Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister for Economic Development and Technology: "Slovenia is being presented at the biggest global event, Expo Milan 2015. The country has set up the pavilion, or the infrastructure which will in the next four months enable the Slovenian economy to get promoted in a different manner than so far. The goals are boosting the internationalisation of Slovenian companies, promoting Slovenia as a tourist destination and rising the profile of Slovenia and the country's official brand I feel Slovenia. The Slovenian pavilion was fully built by Slovenian companies."

Iztok Mirošič, Slovenian Ambassador to Italy: "I am happy and honoured that Slovenia is being presented at the Expo show in a decent and innovative manner with its young identity and full of vitality. Slovenia's presentation at the Expo show offers our companies a way of strengthening tries with Italy and the world. I am also very happy that the Slovenian ethnic minority in Italy and the Italian ethnic minority in Slovenia have been included in Slovenia's presentation at the Expo show. Slovenia needs positive messages and Expo is a positive story and a major opportunity for Slovenian companies."

For more info:
Sandra Stermšek, PR service
Department of the Republic of Slovenia for Expo Milano 2015
SPIRIT Slovenija, public agency
mobile phone: 00386 51 658 714