Some 145 countries are taking part in Expo Milano 2015, a major global commercial fair on nutrition.
As the exhibition opened its gates on 1 May, delegates were greeted by a video message from Pope Francis urging participants to keep in mind the event's theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life", focused on fighting world hunger.
"Expo is a great chance to globalise solidarity; let's try not to waste it, but to put great value on this occasion," he said.
In fact, showcasing the best of their technology serving the goal suggested by the central theme is just one of many factors that drives governments to invest millions in having a presence at the six-month fair.
IBTimes UK went to Milan to understand what other interests stand behind this global event.