Will Expo2015 make Lombardy more attractive for FDI?

Is Expo2015 a threat or an opportunity for Milan and Lombardy? What will be the effect on the territory and how will the capacity to attract foreign investments be affected by the huge event?

A bunch of questions were made, not only lately, about the return on investment related to Expo2015, the universal exposition opening the gates on May 1st in Milan.

During the first phases of the project the attention of economists and researchers was mainly driven to the effects on the Italian economy. “Between 2012 and 2020 the Milan Expo will generate a business about €25 billion and create up to 199,000 jobs” was one of the forecast, published by Alberto dell’Acqua, professor at School of Management at Bocconi University (http://milanexpotours.com/milan-expo-project-2015/masterplan/expo-business.html).

The debate was bitter and vibrant, as you can see reading a study coming from the same university and prepared by Roberto Perotti, defining Expo as a “mistake”.

Now that the event is becoming real, the attention has moved on what will happen after October 31st.

First of all consider that universal exposition are defined by BIE as “event for families” and that the resources coming from the Paris-based institution are mainly devoted to the entertainment side of Expo.

The interest from the business community, of course, splits between the short-term effects and the long-term impact. The first perspective is measurable by the turnover related to the building of the Expo venue, the huge number of visitors (estimated from 20 to 24 million, depending on various sources), increased GDP. The long-term impact has more to do with the results that will remain after the closing of gates.

Talking about real estate, notwithstanding the tail of the deep economic crisis and the peculiar structure of the Italian market, the more diffused estimates consider Expo2015 as a booster for the real estate business in Lombardy and forecasts an increase in prices after Expo.

The main driver in shaping a new Lombardy is represented by new infrastructures, increasing mobility and making easier doing business in Lombardy. A new underground line is linked to Expo and opens today new stations: Metro 5 in not only helping the Milanese crowd to move, but will increased the value of the connected area, stimulating speculations about a new football stadium to be built to redevelop a plot of land in the Portello’s area.

So, let’s keep an eye not only on the opening ceremony and the celebrations for Expo2015, but also on the new Lombardy coming out after the process.

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