Speaking alongside President Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Davutloglu, senior Turkish government ministers, and ambassadors from around the world, Oosterom addressed the 5,000 guests and TV audiences telling them: "This Expo has brought together the horticulture industry, countries and their governments from all over the world around themes designed to promote ‘a green life for future generations’. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the wonder of plants and flowers and learn for themselves that plants and green cities are vital components of life today."
Over 60 countries, institutions and Turkish municipalities are participating in the Expo which opened to the public on 23 April attracting over 35,000 visitors on its first day. Visitors from around the world have until 30 October to visit the 125 hectare Expo site. The UK has a garden at the event in anticiption of a possible Expo in the next decade.
AIPH approval is necessary for any country organising an International Horticultural Exhibition to which other countries will be invited to participate. Expo 2016 Antalya was approved by AIPH in 2008 and commenting on the Expo, AIPH secretary general and chairman of the international honorary jury Tim Briercliffe said: "I would encourage everyone to visit this Expo. Alongside the different country gardens, developed in association with many AIPH members, there is also an amazing display of mosaiculture exhibits. The organisers have also planned many other live events and attractions which are expected to attract millions of visitors in this popular tourist area. This is the first major international event hosted in Turkey and will certainly pave the way for other such events here in the future."
President of the Turkish Ornamental Plant and Products Exporters Association and AIPH board member, Osman Bagdatlioglu was involved in initiating the Expo back in 2008. Following the opening ceremony he said: "I am so pleased to see the result of many years hard work. Antalya has the potential for major expansion in the international trade in ornamentals. This Expo helps to put us on the world horticulture map and the industry will use this to promote further growth."