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Italy looks to Milan Expo for taste of recovery

The Expo countdown clock is seen next to the 'Expo-Gate' pavilion in MilanExpo Milan 2015, the first world fair since Shanghai’s groundbreaking event five years ago, opens its doors on Friday amid optimism that the six-month nutrition and gastronomy-themed fest will help lift the host country out of the economic doldrums. “We can say with great satisfaction that the Expo gamble has paid off,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Monday, underlining the high hopes invested in an event expected to draw more than 20 million people to Italy’s economic capital. With more than 50 countries hosting exhibitions in purpose-built national pavilions and a total of more than 140 involved in some way, Italy is counting on long-term benefits in terms of revamping the country’s brand image and attracting inward investment. Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said the Expo could deliver the confidence boost needed to kickstart the economy.

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