PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is aiming to draw at least two million visitors to its pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, to be held between May 1 and Oct 31 in Italy next year.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was because the event was expected to attract more than 20 million people from all over the world during the six-month event.
The expo, he said, sought to provide answers on whether it was possible to ensure sufficient, healthy and sustainable food for humankind.
Themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, the international expo was aimed at addressing the universal and complex theme of food and nutrition from a historical, cultural, anthropological, medical, technical, scientific, economic and environmental point of view.
“Sustainability and innovation represent two essential elements of how the theme will be deployed at Expo Milano 2015,” said Muhyiddin during the expo’s soft launch at his office in Perdana Putra here yesterday.
Present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum.
To date, 144 countries, three international organisations, 11 non-governmental organisations and three corporate pavilions have confirmed their participation in the expo, which includes Asean countries such as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Malaysian pavilion will occupy a 2,047 sq m exhibition space, near the Thailand and China pavilions.
Muhyiddin said the theme of the Malaysian pavilion would reflect the country’s transformation agenda of sustainability and inclusiveness by focusing on efforts under the Economic Transformation Programme’s National Key Economic Areas.
The pavilion, he said, would also highlight the agriculture, palm oil and rubber sectors, as well as tourism and business services.
“Of essence is the dynamic between economic advancement and preservation of environment, between biodiversity and commercial agriculture.
“Malaysia had participated in several international expositions and this is the eighth time we are participating in such an event.”
He said the Malaysian pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, which recorded seven million visitors, attracted US$35 million (RM112 million) in business and that its participation in the event next year was poised to draw larger volumes of trade.
“This is a change for us to move forward as Malaysia will lead Asean (as chair) in 2015 and host a number of events next year.”