Domestic Economy

Iran Drawing on Top Event to Boost Global Interaction

Iran Drawing on Top Event to Boost Global InteractionIran Drawing on Top Event to Boost Global Interaction

After months of preparation, Expo Milano 2015 will open its doors to millions of visitors on Friday. Scheduled to run for six months until October 31, the event is a global platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions among more than 140 participating countries on the central theme of 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'. Milan expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to the 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.

In the words of the CEO of Expo 2015, Giuseppe Sala: "Expo Milano 2015 wants to promote an international, educational, cultural and sharing experience for all its guests and participants, promoting dialogue between the different citizens of the planet and helping to strengthen cooperation among populations."

As a member of Expo Milano's steering committee, Iran has a strong presence at the expo, with its pavilion set in a 1,950 square meter venue. Since the expo provides an international stage for showcasing the participating countries' culture and traditions, Iran's pavilion has been designed around the central theme of the Persian dining spread, known as Sofreh, to represent prosperity and blessings.

> Promoting Tourism, Export

In his message regarding the exhibition, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, Mohamamd-Reza Namatzadeh has declared 'Global Dining Spread, Iranian Culture' as the theme of Iran's pavilion, which aims to show the Iranian hospitality by inviting all people to "enjoy God's blessings in peace and harmony."

Besides introducing the Iranian culture, the authorities have set as their main goal for the exhibition to promote tourism and export.

In an interview with Donya-e Eghetsad newspaper, managing director of Iran International Exhibitions Company, Hossein Esfahbodi said while the exhibition's rules do not allow for bulk sale of food products, Iranian export products including saffron, raisin, pistachio, dates and barberry as well as more than 160 types of food will be presented to the visitors in a bid to acquaint the them with the Iranian products and cuisine.

Moreover, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) has picked a collection of exquisite handicrafts, posters and documentary movies to be displayed in the pavilion.

> Global Interaction

Expo Milano is not the first universal exhibition Iran participates in. The country has taken part in global events including Expo London in 1851, Paris expositions of 1855 and 1900, the 1967 International and Universal Exposition held in Montreal, Canada and Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China among others.

But what makes Milan's exhibition special for Iranian authorities is that it is being held at a time when the administration, led by President Hassan Rouhani, has set as its main objective to open up the country and engage in close interaction with the world.

In that context, the Milan exhibition is viewed by the government as an opportunity to change the global mindset about Iran and showcase the country's social, cultural and economical capacities.

> Changing Global Mindset

As the chairman of advertising committee for the exhibition and advisor to the minister of industry, mine and trade, Ali-Mohammad Goudarzi told Eghtesadnews: "The Rouhani administration is highly motivated to pursue a policy of increasing interaction with the world, which in recent years had reduced only to the bare minimum."

"Through a strong presence in the expo, we can deliver Iran's message of friendship and peace to the world and change the misconceptions of the international community," he added.

Senior economist, Mohammad-Mehdi Behkish also believes while Expo Milano can be instrumental in boosting economic growth for the participating countries and primarily the host country. "Viewing the exhibition merely through economic glasses, however, without due attention to the cultural aspects, can be detrimental to success."

"In the past, we were introverts. But the situation has changed now. People will witness a different Iran in Expo 2015. Investing in such events can help introduce the positive aspects of Iran to the world, particularly since the sanctions [imposed against Iran by the West over the nuclear program] have lead to misconceptions in the global arena and portrayed a tarnished image of the country,"  said Behkish.