This year marked Malaysia’s year as the Chair of ASEAN, which is the seventh largest economy in the world and home to a consumer market of over 600 million people. Flying the Malaysian flag high with the theme ‘‘Towards a Sustainable Food Ecosystem’’, the Malaysia Pavilion launched at Expo Milano, showcases the best of Asia to drive regional growth.
The Pavilion represents the nation’s strong economic fundamentals, underpinned by comfortable levels of external reserves, low external debt, low unemployment and healthy inflows of foreign direct investment. Proudly Malaysian-made, the architectural design of the Pavilion is made up from four seeds which emblematic the Rainforest Seeds; also explained the kaleidoscope journey of Malaysia. The seed-shaped Pavilion is constructed with ‘‘Glulam’’, or a glued laminated wood made from tropical timber. The ‘‘Glulam’’ combined with the structurally complex design of the pavilion, is a testament of Malaysia’s capabilities in both innovative design and use of sustainable materials. In addition, this is the first appearance of ‘‘Glulam’’ in the European Market after having satisfied Europe’s stringent entry requirement.
The Malaysia adventure begins in the first seed, where the nation’s diversity is explored. Continues in the second seed, where it represents its natural food ingredients used in local gastronomic specialties that found in Malaysia’s rainforests. Recognising that the rainforest are the country’s primary resource, the third seed showcase the country’s commitment to protect and safeguard the forests as a source of health and wellbeing for the future generation. To conclude this enlightening journey, the fourth seed delves into Malaysia’s rich heritage, offering the best of its music, arts and culture.
Malaysia’s presence at the Expo has enhanced the nation’s relationship with the European Union, and yet the Expo has created a platform for Malaysia to promote trade and investment. There are over 140 participating countries in the expo this year showcasing the best of their technology, creativity and innovation as the countries’ efforts for sustainable future. The six-month Expo carries the theme ‘‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’’, is currently running until 31st October 2015; and is expected to attract about 20 million visitors.