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From 1 May to 31 October 2015 the Expo will take place in Milan on the theme of nutrition. The right to sufficient, secure and healthy nutrition is a major challenge worldwide, one that Switzerland is tackling in research and development projects and in its activities in the agricultural and food sectors. The organisers expect about 20 million visitors, with 25% (5 million) coming from abroad, 40% of them (2 million) from Switzerland. Already 80 countries have confirmed their participation. The Federal Council regards the Expo in our neighbouring country Italy as very important. Italy is our second largest trade partner, and Switzerland is Italy's eighth largest partner. The volume of bilateral trade in 2011 amounted to about CHF 35 billion.
The total budget for Switzerland's participation is CHF 23.1 million. CHF 21 million has been earmarked for the planning, construction, dismantling and operation of the Swiss Pavilion. About CHF 2 million has been budgeted for the accompanying programme in Italy from 2013 to 2016 and for communication measures. CHF 8 million will be contributed by the economy, the cantons and the towns. Presence Switzerland has already received a few major commitments. The cantons of Graubünden, Valais, Uri and Ticino as well as the towns of Basle, Geneva and Zürich have confirmed that they will make a joint presentation in the Swiss Pavilion, provided that this is approved by their respective parliaments. A number of companies have already promised to support the Swiss presentation in Milan. Other leading companies have also expressed strong interest. They will make definite commitments after the decision by the Swiss Parliament on the credit for the Swiss participation at Expo 2015 in Milan.
By means of its presentation in Milan, Switzerland aims to raise its profile in Italy and to increase bilateral cooperation in the area of infrastructure as well as in the fields of politics and the economy, especially the food sector. The Swiss participation will communicate an image of Switzerland's diversity and will clearly point out its strengths. A study of the image of Switzerland carried out in 2011 in Italy showed that Italians are more critical of Switzerland than of other countries and that their image of Switzerland is dominated by stereotypes.
The Swiss Pavilion
On 19 August 2011 Presence Switzerland initiated an anonymous tender in two stages in which it invited participants to present their concepts for the thematic orientation of the Swiss Pavilion. The contest met with a strong response and 103 projects were submitted. On 20 January 2012 the jury selected the „Confooderatio Helvetica“ project by netwerch GmBH in Brugg for implementation at Expo 2015 in Milan. The innovative architecture and the impressive implementation of the Expo theme made a strong impression on the jury. The central focus of the winning project is the global availability and distribution of food. The project also prompts visitors to reflect on their own consumption behaviour.
Presence Switzerland will develop the project with the designers and the relevant federal offices and institutions (SDC, FOH, FOA, SECO, Switzerland Tourism, etc). The aim is to present Switzerland as attractive, responsible and showing solidarity in connection with the theme of food. The planning of the pavilion will begin in 2013 as soon as Parliament has approved the credit for Swiss participation in the Expo. The Swiss Pavilion will be located in a favourable strategic position close to the Italian pavilion. In addition to the exhibition on the Expo theme, there will be exhibition modules for partners, a restaurant, a sponsors area and a sales area on a total of 4433 sq.m. Cantons, towns and Swiss private industry will benefit from the Swiss presentation.
The framework programme „Verso l’Expo Milano 2015“
To ensure a more long-term presence in Italy, Switzerland will present a framework programme entitled "Verso l'Expo Milano 2015" in the period before during and after Expo 2015 in Milan. The programme will run from 2013 to 2016. The aim is to strengthen bilateral relations and to raise the awareness of the Italian public about Switzerland’s innovativeness and its cultural and linguistic diversity. The Pro Helvetia programme “Lombardia transalpina 2014” will also be included as an important element in this framework programme. The opening of the Gotthard base tunnel in 2016 will also be a valuable platform for continuing the close co-operation in the framework of the World Exhibition.
The new Commissioner General
The Federal Council has appointed ambassador Dante Martinelli as the new Commissioner General for Switzerland at Expo Milan 2015. His task will be to represent Switzerland vis-à-vis the Expo organisers, the Italian authorities and other participating countries. He will succeed Roberto Balzaretti, who will take up his new post as ambassador to the Swiss Mission in Brussels in August 2012. The Federal Council would like to thank him for his excellent work on behalf of Switzerland.
Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland
firstname.lastname@example.org, Telefon: 031 323 45 91
Manuel Salchli, Presence Switzerland, Head of Major Events
email@example.com, Telefon: 031 323 04 49 / 079 220 42 16
Andrea Arcidiacono, Presence Switzerland, Head of the Programme Italy/ Expo Milano 2015
firstname.lastname@example.org, Telefon: 031 322 32 97 / 079 291 13 479