Expo 2015 preparations

Preparations for Expo 2015 are running according to timetable, with 26 pavilions already completed and turned over to the exhibitors, and the rest due for handover in March, according to the commissioner of the Milan universal exhibition, Giuseppe Sala.
 
in an interview with leading economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore this week he said that he is “reasonably confident” that everything is on track. But “there’s no time to lose,” he added.  “We’ll need to work without a break.  Up to now almost 4,000 people are working on site in Rho.”
 
With a little over a year to go, more than a thousand firms are working on preparations, and they have already supplied products and services for €457 million. But a deadline is approaching: “We can examine requests up to 28 February by companies interested in having their own space inside the exhibition area.   After that there won’t be enough time left, and we’ll move on to the operational and organisation phase.”
 
Sala explained that, beyond the 140 countries taking part, there will also be between five and seven “corporate pavilions” for companies operating in the sectors which form the theme of the Expo – food and sustainable energy.  These can bring in €30-40 million.  An internal commission will examine applications to ensure they respect these themes, as long as they are presented before the end of the month.  Up to now in this category Sala listed CNH (Fiat group) and China Varke, plus the China corporate united pavilion, a group of agro-food companies.
 
Asked whether architects and companies will be arriving from abroad, Sala replied: “I think most of the countries taking part will sign contracts with the Italian general contractors, and the linked industries profiting from the business will be above all Italians.”  The total budget for companies investing in Expo, counting construction and maintenance of the pavilions, events and communications will top €600 million, he added.
 
Sala went on to describe the agreements and contracts being signed.  “Counting money being invested partly on the site and partly on services to be provided during the event, partnerships with our company have reached a total of €350 million up to now; contracts for material supplies are another €220 million, and contracts for rental and management of exhibitors’ own pavilions another €30-40 million.”
 
Asked which was the most recent important contract signed, the commissioner said it was with the German company DB Schenker for food logistics.  The main contracts have been with German, American, Korean and – obviously – Italian groups, he said.
 
Up to now, the UAE have invested most, running at €60 million, followed by the €40 million of China, and then the US, Germany and Italy.  “But we are expecting cooperation with the UAE to continue past the 2015 event,” Sala said.  “They will be hosting the 2020 Expo.  We already have reason to believe they will take Italian competence, professionalism and experience.  We are expecting a fruitful economic fallout for future years.”
 
Asked whether he was worried about what is happening off-site, such as projects running late or even cancelled, Sala admitted that the commission “has certainly had to face problems, above all those cropping up as work continues.”  But Sala was confident that problems were being resolved, as compromises were being found with associations or local communities opposed to some of the projects. In some cases alternatives had been found; in others, such as the metro line 4, this was not essential for Expo and could be postponed.  “But we must avoid having construction sites bang in the middle of Expo,” he concluded.

General Info

Website en.expo2015.org