Reem Al Hashimy, United Arab Emirates minister of state for international cooperation and director general of the Expo 2020 Bureau, has welcomed the United Kingdom’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, to Dubai as the UK becomes the latest country to break ground on its pavilion.
A UK delegation led by Fox was in the UAE to mark the start of construction for the UK pavilion, located in Expo’s opportunity district.
The pavilion will explore the theme ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’, while also showcasing British expertise in the arts and the space sector.
Al Hashimy said: “The UAE and the UK have long enjoyed a robust, mutually-beneficial relationship that will continue to thrive as we forge partnerships across all sectors, from trade and tourism to art, technology and education.
“Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a strong platform to expand those partnerships, and we congratulate the UK as it begins the construction of this artistic and AI-inspired pavilion.”
The long-standing relationship between the UAE and UK continues to strengthen, built on a thriving bilateral relationship that spans economic, strategic and cultural interests and enabling extensive cooperation in the region and around the world.
Fox said: “The Expo provides a global platform to showcase our ambition for the future, and our participation provides excellent opportunities for UK businesses.”
He continued: “The United Kingdom hosted the first ever Expo, the Great Exhibition in 1851, so we really appreciate the value of expos and what they can bring to the country that hosts them, and what they can also bring to the countries that participate.”
The two countries agreed in 2015 to ramp up bilateral trade to AED116 billion (£25 billion) by 2020, with latest figures for 2017 showing bilateral trade at more than AED82 billion (£17.5 billion).
In April 2019, the UK hosted the fifth UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee, where they set out a new economic partnership – a mutual approach to enhancing trade and investment between the two nations.
Expo 2020 Dubai, with its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, offers all 192 participating countries an unparalleled opportunity for sharing innovations and knowledge, forging new business partnerships and promoting trade.
The eye-catching UK pavilion, featuring an illuminated, continually changing poem, created through visitor input and generated by artificial intelligence, will provide a strong platform for the UK to showcase its expertise to millions of visitors from around the world.
The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and south-Asia region, Expo 2020 will showcase the finest inventions and ideas of our time.
It runs from October 20th, 2020, until April 10th, 201, and expects to attract 25 million visits, with an unprecedented 70 per cent of visitors expected to come from outside the UAE.