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Expo Milano 2015 and Central Asia

Courtesy of The Times of Central Asia

Category: Politics, Analyses & Opinions

Published on Saturday, 01 March 2015

Written by Giorgio Fiacconi

di Emanuele G. - lunedì 2 marzo 2015 - 2092 letture

MILAN (TCA) — In two months, Expo Milano 2015 will open to the public. From May 1 to October 31, 2015 , during a six-month period, day and night thousands of events inside and outside the expo area of 1.1 million square meters will become a world showcase. Nearly 20 million visitors are expected to visit this Universal exhibition, and more than 140 countries will present the best of their best, within a core theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. All Central Asia countries will be at the Expo, showing the best of the best of what they can offer and produce and the many business possibilities.

If sustainable and sufficient food for everyone living on the planet is the theme of the Universal Expo in Milan, the same encompasses a very large segment of everyone’s life, from agriculture to food processing to renewable energy to rural development to urbanisation and the real fight against poverty. In a festive atmosphere and in thousands of events, everyone will have the opportunity to know more about the products and business opportunities offered by nearly 150 countries, learning, seeing and enjoying first hand cultural traditions, food, fashion, and also considering business cooperation.

According to the organisers, “Expo Milano 2015 will provide an opportunity to reflect upon, and seek solutions to, the contradictions of our world. On the one hand, there are still the hungry (approximately 870 million people were undernourished in the period 2010-2012) and, on the other hand, there are those who die from ailments linked to poor nutrition or too much food (approximately 2.8 million deaths from diseases related to obesity or to being overweight in the same period). In addition, about 1.3 billion tons of foods are wasted every year. For these reasons, we need to make conscious political choices, develop sustainable lifestyles, and use the best technology to create a balance between the availability and the consumption of resources.”

At Expo 2015, there will be pavilions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, not to mention the great countries of Russia and China that traditionally maintain a close relation with the Central Asia region. The Expo and the related follow-up will be important for developing a debate and relevant actions over the world’s strategy on renewable energy, and a dialogue on urbanisation and rural development.

The aim is to propose a new model of sustainable economy where the present trend of urbanisation toward large cities is slowly replaced by a shift toward the creation of smaller cities in the rural areas in order to develop a better balance between different areas of the same country. Keeping the population in the rural area, and providing them with employment and opportunities should be a task for all political leaders and planners for the development of their countries in order to use present human resources and attract back those that for lack of employment and business opportunities have left their native places. Around the rural development and the creation of larger residential aggregation, not only we will see the development of agriculture and increased productivity but also a justification for the creation of all related industries from agro food processing to equipment manufacturing and supply and a new trend in the building industry. This will generate a new model of growth and while keeping the population in the rural areas will reduce the pressure on the large cities that often are unable to satisfy with present infrastructure the needs of an increased population. This model of new aggregation and creation of smaller cities (30,000 to 50,000 people) is what Central Asia needs to introduce if agricultural production should be increased and agro processing developed where products are available consequently offering new employment opportunities and reducing migration. If this is going to happen, migrated human resources and talents will return to their native place, and the imbalance between various regions of the same country will be considerably reduced.

China and Central Asia, as well as many other areas of the world that are suffering from desertification and unsustainable urbanisation, can certainly obtain a great advantage from the proposed model that for sure will offer a better quality of life, reducing ethnic tensions and unrest due to economic differences between the population.

The Expo Milano 2015 will show that cooperation between countries is essential not only to achieve better productivity and to process directly in each country the products available, but also to attract new investments and new technologies, and reduce tension and unbalanced economic situation in many regions of the world.

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