Milan’s new exhibition system: a driving force behind the economic development of Lombardy and Italy as a whole

Monday, 17 November 2003 – Total revenues of more than €4.3 billion versus €2 billion in 2000, and  42,743 new jobs. This is the positive impact that Milan Fair will have on the regional economy when Milan’s new exhibition system, comprising the New Complex and the City Complex, will be operating at full capacity.

Above, are some of the findings of a study conducted by Fondazione Fiera Milano – Ufficio Studi -  in concert with CERTeT of Bocconi University, that will be presented on Friday, 14 November at the Milan conference of the “East-West Lombardy – the cardinal points of development” roadshow.

The New Complex – the first stone of which was laid on 6 October 2002 – is a project that is being fully self-funded by Fondazione Fiera Milano and involves an investment of approx. €750 million,  which includes the cost of purchasing the sites. The New Complex will have a gross floorspace of 530,000 square meters on a 2-million square meter site. A major project that is being developed by a private entity – Fondazione Fiera Milano – but with positive fallout for the public, the construction of which will generate €835 million in revenues and 7,900 new jobs. Noteworthy are also the figures related to the redevelopment project associated with the New Complex, with approx. 4.5 million cubic meters of reclaimed land.

The study also shows that housing values in the municipalities around the New Complex rose - during 2000/2003 - by 25 percent versus 14.5 percent of comparable areas in the first city belt. Also significant is the 25.9 percent increase in industrial property values versus 20.4 percent in the first city belt.

Once the New Complex is up and running, Milan Fair will downsize its presence in the city. An international call for tenders is currently underway for the redevelopment of the city fairgrounds, aimed at returning to the city  255,000 of the 440,000 square meters occupied by the present-day exhibition grounds. This urban project will give the city a new center, with new high-caliber functions, public green spaces and improved traffic conditions.

This downsizing of the exhibition business will not impoverish the city because service-based activities are already concentrated in central Milan.

These and other studies commissioned by Fondazione Fiera Milano to other prestigious institutes such as Statale-Bicocca University, the AASTER consortium, Milan Polytechnic and Poliedro will form the basis of the roadshow “East-West-Lombardy. The cardinal points of development”, with conferences that will be staged in three cities:

  • Brescia, 10 November, with a focus on the infrastructural implications of the new East-West axis;
  • Milan, 14 November, on the socio-economic transformations of a metropolis that is becoming more international;
  • Rho, 15 November, on the new development strategies for the Rho territory, and focusing on the socio-economic opportunities offered by the new exhibition complex.

Fondazione Fiera Milano is a private corporate entity with a controlling interest in Fiera Milano Spa – which controls a group of nine companies – and in Sviluppo Sistema Fiera, and is also a relative majority shareholder in Villa Erba. It also owns the present-day exhibition grounds in Milan and the Rho-Pero area, which is the site of the New Complex. It was set up in February 2000, when Ente Autonomo Fiera Internazionale di Milano was transformed into a private Foundation, under national and regional legislation. Fondazione Fiera Milano is currently managing the makeover of the Milan fair system, i.e. the construction of the New Complex and the redevelopment of the City Complex Innovation, managerial competence, transparency and tradition are the guiding principles behind all its projects. In addition to the major works being implemented in the Milan area, Fondazione has established the International Academy of Trade Fair Management and is in the process of creating a Historical Fair Archive. It also promotes -- through its studies, research, conferences and publications -- the development and dissemination in Italy of the culture and values of international exchanges.