Switzerland became the first country to formally signal its desire to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai, at a diplomatic ceremony in Dubai.
The event marks a major advance for Expo 2020, which has plans to host over 180 countries, along with 25 million visitors, at the six-month event which runs from October 2020 to April 2021.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee said: “Expo 2020 Dubai will be an international focal point where people and countries will come together to celebrate human ingenuity, and our shared ability to build a better future.
“We are delighted that the Swiss government has committed to participate, over four years ahead of the start of the Expo.
“The decision is an important reflection of the international role played by the UAE, and the significance of Expo 2020.”
The Swiss Federal Council agreed to participate in Expo 2020 during a meeting held last week.
That meeting also agreed a budget for the Swiss Pavilion – which will be built on the Expo site – of AED 57 million.
The Federal Council explained its decision in an official statement that placed great weight on the economic and political significance of the UAE.
Maya Tissafi, Swiss ambassador to Dubai, shared her enthusiasm for Expo 2020 Dubai, and delight at being the first country to sign up as participants.
“Switzerland and the UAE are both countries that thrive on connecting others, through travel and trade.
“Participating in Dubai Expo 2020 is also of great interest to Swiss companies and the tourism sector given the region’s economic potential.”
She went on to add: “Because of this, we are excited to be the first country to agree to take part in Expo 2020.
“We share Expo’s belief in connecting minds in order to create the future, and look forward to working closely with the organisers to contribute to a spectacular event that leaves a meaningful and long-lasting legacy both here in the UAE and at home in Switzerland.”
Last week Expo 2020 hosted officials from the BIE on a technical visit to inspect the progress being made in preparation for the event, and the plans being put in place for its legacy.