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Mayor Voices Support for OPTOGO Project

Mayor Ko Wen-je met with members of the “OPTOGO” project on April 27.

OPTOGO—One Pavilion To Go Taiwan Pavilion—is a movement mounted by a group of local youths with an average age of 30 hailing from various professional backgrounds. The project seeks to promote the island to the world at the 2015 Milan World Expo, which turned down Taiwan’s participation as a nation.

To show his support for the project, Ko announced that he will donate NT$400,000 from his election campaign fund after learning about the plans from the advocates.

The mayor stressed that Taiwan should not be absent from the international event. With the private sector taking the lead, he believes that the government should play its role to help move the project forward. In addition to the donation, Ko also promised to provide his own Facebook account as a promotion platform for OPTOGO.

Hsieh Tsung-yen, one of the project members, pointed out that OPTOGO is the first ever civil movement seeking to promote a nation at the international fair through crowd funding.

The project will adopt three approaches to highlight Taiwan’s characteristics based on the theme of the 2015 Milan Expo-- “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”: peddling Taiwanese snacks via vending trucks across Milan to demonstrate the idea of a mobile “Taiwan Pavilion;” leasing spaces in Milan to set up temporary exhibition areas displaying Taiwanese delicacies; and inviting local chefs to cook Taiwanese dishes at apartments where expo-goers can get a taste of Taiwanese cuisine.

The project will kick off in Milan starting July and draw to a close at the end of October, to sync with the conclusion of 2015 Milan Expo.