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11 September 2015

This year Milan plays host to the World Exhibition known as the “EXPO” running from 1 May to 31 October. The core theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” has brought together more than 140 countries, the United Nations, European Union, charities, sponsoring companies. By the end of the exhibition, over 20 million people will have visited it.

The pavilions

The EXPO concours runs for 1.5 km. The exhibitions are housed in architecturally impressive pavilions that cost millions to construct and run. For the Head of Advantage Austria Dublin, Wilhelm Nest, the Austrian and Irish pavilions were top of the list. The Austrian theme is  “breathe.austria”, and the Pavilion features thousands of living trees, native to Austria. “Fifty per cent of the land in Austria is under foresty and wood is an importance resource for us in producing clean energy based on biomass” says Wilhlem Nest.  “The trees also illustrate the importance of Austria’s extremely clean air.”

Meanwhile at the Irish Pavilion, “Origin Green” is the motto that highlights the country’s drive to become a world-leading producer of sustainably produced food while protecting the land’s rich natural resources .


Milan Expo Hunger Event

On 6 September 2015, the Irish and Italian Ministers for Agriculture, Maurizio Martina and Simon Coveney, hosted an event focusing on world hunger. At the event, to which Wilhelm Nest was invited and which was attended by Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and U2 frontman Bono who spoke about unequal distribution of food in the world.



So popular are the pavilions of Italy, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan (the next host of the EXPO in 2017), that visitors are prepared queue for hours to enter. In the Japanese pavilion, the theme “Harmonious Diversity” might not be the only reason for its huge popularity: Italy issued a special exemption from EU regulations and thus allowed the Japanese to serve a specialty, the highly poisonous pufferfish, or fugu.