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Wednesday 29th May 2024, 2:00 PM (BST)

World Expo 2015 to be worth £1 billion for Britain

World Expo 2015 to be worth £1 billion for Britain

Next year’s World Expo is a major opportunity for nations to show off what they can offer. The government is hoping it could be worth £1 billion to the UK.

When next year’s World Expo kicks off in Milan, delegations from around the world will flock to Italy to demonstrate what they have to offer to a truly global audience. It’s a massive opportunity for governments and businesses alike to benefit from showing off their products and services on the biggest possible stage. So much so, in fact, that the UK government says it is aiming to make the event worth £1 billion to the UK economy.


Global stage

The modern equivalent of the world fair, World Expo will demonstrate the biggest achievements, breakthrough and promising areas for future advances from a huge range of countries. Its heritage goes back to the Great Exhibition, which took place in London in 1851 – and the government is keen to ensure Britain remains associated with innovation, information-sharing and new ideas.

It’s also the most international stage that any business could hope for. Around 20 million guests are expected throughout the event, which runs from May to October, and a million tickets have already been sold to China alone.

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the UK government is pulling out all the stops. The centre of the 1,910 square metre pavilion will be a giant aluminium beehive representing both the importance of bees in pollination and Nottingham Trent University’s new technology that will seek to monitor the health of beehives.


‘Perfect springboard’

Trade and investment minister Lord Livingston announced earlier this week that the government was launching a massive campaign to maximise the benefits of World Expo for the economy.

The Grown in Britain Global Business Programme will aim to promote key sectors such as agricultural technology, food and drink, healthcare, life sciences and the creative industries. While these are important fields which will help to meet the challenges of a rapidly growing global population, they are also all areas in which the UK will be displaying its expertise at the event.

“Britain has been at the forefront on the 20th century’s greatest innovations – from the World Wide Web to the jet engine,” Lord Livingstone said.

“Milan Expo 2015 is the perfect springboard for us to showcase the UK is still leading the charge, not just in design and technology but in a wider ambition to help meet the world’s development and sustainability needs.”



According to the government, the campaign will build on the success of the London 2012 Olympics and stretch much further than even Milan. Grown in Britain will continue to promote the UK as a great place to study, visit and do business, as well as demonstrating the UK’s leading role in international development. It will incorporate next year’s Rugby World Cup in September, then extend to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Eventually, it will lead into the next World Expo in Dubai in 2020.

Next year’s event is focused in the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, attempting to deal with some of the challenges that the world faces as population grows and demand for food and energy continues to soar. By placing the UK at the centre of the solution, the government hopes to generate long term economic benefits for the nation.

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