Milan Expo 2015 opens competitive bid for mascot

MILAN, Italy, July 14 — The Milan Expo 2015 has opened a competitive bidding process for creating the next world exposition’s mascot, local reports said on Sunday.
The winner will be “an important company in the field of entertainment” charged with the task of designing, developing and marketing in all ways the world exposition’s symbol, according to organizers.
The new mascot will be an “ambassador of food sustainability with a social and educative role,” related to the event’s theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” which is focused on fighting hunger and environmental issues.
It will carry the contents and values of the Milan Expo 2015, and will be able to teach them to both children and adults, also respecting environment and sustainability itself starting from the materials used for its construction, organizers said.
The six-month-event, which is set to kick off on May 1, 2015, is regarded by the Italian government as an “extraordinary opportunity” to overcome a biting economic crisis.
The planned public investment is of 1.3 billion euros (1.6 billion U.S. dollars), with additional money expected from the corporate world and participant countries.
According to a recent study, the Milan Expo 2015 will produce in Italy, from 2012 to 2020, nearly 25 billion euros (around 32 billion U.S. dollars) of economic impact.
A total of 131 countries, more than the expected 130, have confirmed their presence in the world exhibition, which is expected to attract around 20 million of international tourists on a surface of 1.1 million square meters.[db:内容2]

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