Expo 2015 Opens, Slovenia Launches Own Pavilion
Milano, 4 May - Slovenia launched its own pavilion as the Expo 2015 world show opened in Milan, Italy, on Friday. The country is being promoted as a green, healthy and active country, which Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said was also the foundation of our social and economic development.
The minister of economic development and technology underscored that Slovenia was pursuing several goals at Expo, where it is one of 52 countries with its own pavilion.
It wants to rise the profile of its promotional slogan I feel Slovenia and of the country itself, apart from rising the profile of Slovenian products and making them more easily accessible in the Italian market and globally.
Another goal is to make Slovenia more recognisable as "a local tourist superpower". "We want to use the vicinity of Milan to invite many of the potential 20 million of Expo visitors to visit Slovenia during the international show," Počivalšek stressed.
He is convinced that the pavilion, which is made mostly of natural materials and is the result of domestic know-how, will offer Slovenian businesses, tourism and culture "a solid springboard" to promote themselves as best as possible.
"We have an exceptional pavilion, an excellent location, big and fantastic neighbours. Let's use all that," stressed Počivalšek, expressing hope that the EUR 5 million invested into the pavilion would definitely pay off.
"We all know that the pavilion story will not end in Milan," he said, explaining the government would like to find a location for it in Slovenia to further promote the Slovenian economy to grow and development on foreign markets.
Slovenian Ambassador to Italy Iztok Mirošič said Slovenia was presented in Milan "in a very ambitious and decent manner". "Having its own pavilion, the country has come to the centre, were it belongs," he said about its location at the Expo Gate, a prestigious location in the centre of Milan.
"Slovenia, Europe and Italy are exiting the crisis. This is why knowledge, power, positive messages and an economy which develops its potentials and is opening up are vital," said the ambassador.
Mirošič believes that with its own pavilion and creativity, Slovenia is enabling its economy to get in touch with Italy and the world to continue its story of success. "This is a big opportunity for Slovenia, for the Slovenian economy and Slovenian-Italian relations."
The commissioner-general for the Slovenia Expo Milan 2015 section Jerneja Lampret added that the Slovenian team working on this project wanted to show who the Slovenians are and what they can do. "We did not wish to be average."
Slovenia's pavilion features the country's economy and nature under the slogan "I feel SLOVEnia, Green. Active. Healthy.". Its programme will feature ten Slovenian regions, with the Karst and coast (Kraško-obalna regija) the first to be promoted.
Given that food is the main topic of this year's Expo, Slovenia will offer visitors a chance to taste and buy typical Slovenian food at a special food stand.
An important part of the pavilion will be also its business centre, which was opened by Minister Počivalšek. "The business centre will be a kind of an info centre for all those looking for new partners."
The minister believes that the web platform set up by the Expo 2015 organisers would help strike deals and partnerships while he also expects visits by seven European Commission delegations to produce results.
"But I expect the most from business delegations which will be organised by agency SPIRIT Slovenija and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia," he said, convinced that Expo Milan would be a turning point in understanding that Slovenia can develop and grow if companies go international.
The Slovenian pavilion was designed by the Sono Architects bureau as a wooden pyramid-shaped structure, reflecting the geographical diversity of Slovenia.
The story of "Five buckwheat grains to preserve green, active and healthy Slovenia" will be presented through interactive and multimedia features, guiding visitors through five themes, including salt, bees, thermal and mineral waters, active lifestyle and green technologies.
Slovenia's exhibition place will also feature a stage where different events will be held in the upcoming months.
The Expo Milan 2015 world fair is featuring more than 140 countries until the end of October. Its main theme is food.