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President of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), Bernard Oosterom, spoke of the important role that Expo 2016 Antalya had played in bringing the importance of plants to the attention of millions of people during his speech at the Closing Ceremony on 30 October. The AIPH and BIE approved A1 International Horticultural Exhibition closed its doors after six months of Expo which attracted over 4.5 million visitors from Turkey and around the world. With the theme of ‘Flowers and Children – a green life for future generations’ the Expo achieved the participation of over 50 countries and numerous cities and municipalities from Turkey.

Chairman of the Board of Expo 2016 Antalya and Turkish Minister of Agriculture, Faruk Çelik, also spoke during the Closing Ceremony as he noted the strong spirit of Expo that kept going with full support from all participating countries, despite the attempted coup and terrorist activity through the year in Turkey.

Bernard Oosterom congratulated all those involved in the Expo from the beginning and particularly noted the efforts of the President of the Turkish Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association (OAiB) and AIPH Board member, Osman Bagdatlioglu who initiated the original application for the Expo in 2008 and was recently awarded the coveted AIPH Gold Medal.Visitors to the Expo enjoyed the 112 hectare site that included garden displays, an agriculture and biodiversity museum, science and technology centre, children’s island, major concerts, conferences, restaurants, exhibitions, cultural displays and activities and much more.

The Closing Ceremony included the handover of the AIPH and BIE flags to the Vice-Mayor of Beijing, China which will be the next city to host an AIPH-approved International Horticultural Exhibition in 2019.

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Rachel Wakefield

Communications Executive and Associate Editor
United Kingdom