Estonia's participation in 2015 EXPO under threat

Design of the Estonian EXPO 2015 pavilion by Kadarik & Tüür Architects (Margus Johanson)
12/16/2014 9:20 AM
Category: Economy

Estonian pavilion at the EXPO Milan 2015 is entangled in a court case over the construction procurement, that could possible block Estonia from participating in the exhibition that begins in May.

As it is unknown when the court case will yield a final solution, Estonian Ministry of the Economic Affairs and Communication, together with Enterprise Estonia who is leading the EXPO project, is considering an annulment of the procurement.

The procurement was contested by E&G OÜ, leaving Enterprise Estonia unable to sign a contract with the winning bidder Ekspodisain AS.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Estonia, Hanno Tomberg, the disputes and the resulting time constraints have led to a situation where the Estonian pavilion may not be completed in time.

"We are now looking for an alternative course of action," Tomberg said, adding that Enterprise Estonia is doing everything in its power to make sure that Estonia takes part of the 2015 world EXPO and Estonian pavilion opens on May 1, as planned.

Director of the Board Ahti Kuningas added: "Enterprise Estonia has considered all options that would allow us to finish the pavilion in time and within budget. Our best chance is to start preliminary negotiations with construction companies that are already involved with the EXPO. If we cannot find a building company or another solution by mid-January, we have to seriously consider not participating."

The government decided to take part of the 2015 EXPO back in 2012, making Enterprise Estonia responsible for all the organizational aspects of the project.

EXPO offers a good opportunity for Estonia to introduce itself and its businesses to tens of millions of visitors from around the globe.

The participation will cost Estonia 4.8 million euros. The current expenditure is around 700,000 euros, plus an additional 400,000 in outstanding obligations.

V. Valme, M. Oll

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