ZIMBABWE will showcase its vast trade and investment opportunities to foreign investors at Expo Milan 2015 that will run for six months in Milan, Italy next year.
The expo will take place from May to October and Zimbabwe will participate within the cereals and tubers cluster under the theme “Food Security, Sustainable Development: A Healthy Zimbabwe”.
The country will showcase the national thrust on food and nutrition security as enunciated in the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy launched by President Robert Mugabe last year.
Cereals and tubers such as millet, rapoko, sorghum, yam, sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and are highly encouraged in order to mitigate high incidences of diseases associated with eating too much of modern refined foods.
Zimbabwe will exhibit in the same cluster as Benin, Bolivia, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique.
The global theme for the expo is “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”. The exposition is anchored on food security, fight against hunger and food waste.
In a speech read on his behalf, officially launching the Zimbabwe’s participation at the expo, Industry and Commerce Minister Mr Michael Bimha said the country expects to excite potential investors and tourists during the six-months long exhibition.
“In short, as with previous world expos in which Zimbabwe participated, Expo Milan 2015 is a major national project that will allow the country to showcase itself to the world in terms of achievements in food and nutrition security, as well as showcasing the vast opportunities offered in the fields of trade, tourism and investment,” said Minister Bimha in a speech read by his Deputy, Chiratidzo Mabuwa.
Zimbabwe will showcase and serve the country’s unique traditional cuisine in an original way to visitors at the expo.
Minister Bimha said the global theme of the expo is in sync with Zimbabwe’s thrust on food and nutrition security, which one of the four pillars of national development enunciated in the policy blueprint – the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.
“I am happy to mention that Zimbabwe is currently crafting a policy on mitigating the impact of non-communicable diseases where the issue of food security is promoted as one way of mitigating this impact,” he said.
Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Enrico de Agostini said more than 20 million visitors are expected at the expo and more than 140 countries had confirmed participation.
Thirty-four African countries have so far confirmed their participation at the expo. Expo Milan 2015 will gather countries that produce a common specific food item or are interested in developing a shared, representative theme under the same architectural and thematic project of Clusters.
Nine clusters have been designed, organized into six specific food chains- coffee, rice, cacao, spices, fruit and legumes, cereals and tubers – and three global themes – Agriculture and Nutrition in Arid Zones, Seas and Islands and bio-Mediterranean Ecosystems.
Countries will have individual exhibition spaces inside the cluster where they will be expected to express their rich and unique contribution to the expo theme.
Zimbabwe was offered 250 square metres exhibition space by Italian government and is eligible for financial support that will cover construction of the country’s pavilion, fitting costs and some running expenses in Italy.