This 51st Milan Trade Fair this year saw the inauguration of the "Palazzo Africa", which houses stands of about twenty African countries.
This 51st Milan Trade Fair this year saw the inauguration of the "Palazzo Africa", which houses stands of about twenty African countries. African representation at the fair has grown considerably over the past few years, prompting Milan Trade Fair authorities to hand over a pavilion solely for African use. The fair was opened on April 14 by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
Such has been the level of African interest in participating in Europe, that the pavilion will be available for African use throughout the year for meetings, offices, and discussion groups for European/African affairs. Generally speaking, the African countries are anxious to participate -- as a group -- in the affairs of the European Common Market. Current discussions among members of the West African Economic Community (CEAO) cover African attitudes to Europe and the coming meeting of the Organisation of African Unity is also expected to deal with the question in some depth.
The main theme of this year's African stands are agricultural, mineral and artisan products. The conference hall in the pavilion has been in regular use for discussions of current projects in Africa involving European interests. One of these is the construction of the Pan-Africa highway joining Lagos and Mombass some 4,100 miles apart (6,560 kms). This is being constructed under the auspices of the Italo-African institute with aid from Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Japan, the United States and Italy.
Generally, the Milan Fair reflects Italian efforts to snap out of a recession which has hit Italian industry over the past two years. It is the largest fair of its kind in Italy and provides an annual meeting place for importers and exporters. A sign of Italian industrial difficulties is the statistics of exhibitors. Italian representation at the fair dropped five per cent while foreign exhibitors increased their activity there substantially.
SYNOPSIS: Milan ...and Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, arrives to open the city's trade fair .. the biggest of its type in the country. Italian exhibitors have decreased their participation while foreign countries, including the Africans, have increased their level of activity substantially.
The Milan Trade Fair provides an annual meeting place for Importers and exporters, dealing in a wide range of products.
From Italy's point of view, the fair reflects an effort to snap out of a two year recession which has been hurting the Italian economy. These are just a few of the ten thousand stands in twenty five major product groups
The fair saw the inauguration of the Palazzo Africa, a pavilion devoted entirely to the twenty African countries participating. African interest in European Affairs has reached such a level that the pavilion has been made available for African use throughout the year.
When the various exhibitors have taken down their displays, the African pavilion will continue with important activity. One of the first matters to be discussed in the pavilion will be the Trans-African Highway ... more than four thousand miles from Lagos to Mombasa.
Agricultural produce is one of the major themes of the African exhibits. Other prominent displays include mineral and artisan products.