The Expo 2020, slated to be world's biggest exhibitions is being held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from October 20, 2020 to April 31, 2021. The theme of the expo is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with the three subthemes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. The expo which is held once in 5 years will showcase each theme with its own pavilion. This world event will provide tremendous exposure to countries and companies participating.
India UAE being strategic partners, it has greatly influenced India's positioning at the World Expo as one of the major participating countries. Situated close to the North Park with Germany, Japan, USA, Italy and Kazakistan as its immediate neighbour, Indian pavilion is one of the largest pavilion in the area and most inclusive under the theme of 'Ópportunity'. With approximately an acre of land, India will also have the advantage of keeping the pavilion in legacy period once the expo is over. FICCI is the industry partner of the govt of India and is responsible for entire showcasing, Indian history, exposition, participation, branding, programmes- business, government, art, culture and others.
Briefing the press about the Expo 2020 Ambassador of UAE, Dr Ahmed Albanna said, 'We are expecting 25 million people to attend the expo in 6 months time, expecting over 196 countries to particpate, more than 200 pavilions are expected.' Elaborating on the Expo's progress Albana said, 'We are working very closely with the Bureau of International Exhibitions in Paris to finish work on time. We have decided to do major campaigns all over the world. The campaign started with celebrations in Dubai. India is participating in a very big way, has taken a major pavilion, one of the largest and most strategic in location.' He further said, 'We appreciate the vision and long standing support of India in participating in the expo. We have decided to keep the expo as so much investment doesn't go waste.'
Albana said, 'Its not just a product exhibition, its an expo of the country's capability in terms of innovation, manufacture, culture, space, to show the strength and advancememt of a country. All the economies of the countries participating are quite big. Our expected GDP is about 20% of the global GDP for the 6 months period.'
On India UAE trade relations Albana informed that the growing relations between both countrys can be gauged from the fact that in 1985 bilateral trade between India and UAE was 185 million dollars, in 2018 it was 60 billion dollars. He said since the visit of PM Modi in August 2015, the whole relationship was put on a different track specially after 2016 Feb, with the visit of UAE leadership to India. Traditionaly P2P, Export Import and trade along with Oil and gas was always there, but major shift with reference to exchange of security, financial sector, aerospace, IT, education, health, tourism, logistics, and other new sectors came up which saw huge increments in bilaterals. Since 34 yrs, before 2015 there had been no offical visit of any Prime Minsiter of India to UAE.' He said invitations will be extended to all heads of states for the expo.
'The bilateral trade between UAE and India is about 60 billion dollars. UAE is the third largest trading partner of India after USA and China. India is partner no 1 for UAE, more than 3 million Indians live in UAE. Around 14 billion dollars as remittances are sent back to India by them from UAE. UAE though small in size plays an important role in the region and in the international arena,' the Gulf nation envoy said.
Bhutan which is a particpating country with a pavilion at the expo will be showcasing its local products. Deputy Chief of Mission Bhutan, Ugen Chosom said, 'Bhutan has contributed US dollar 4 million for the expo. We will showcase our cottage and small industries, our new adopted FDI policy 2019, promoting Bhutan's organic and green labelling. Cultural artefacts, textiles, organic food products, traditional medicinal products, cottage and small industries will be mainly showcased.'
Representing FICCI, Secretary General Dilip Chenoy informed, 'It is an Expo with a difference. Ministries will be talking about opportunities in India, Indian firms will display the best futuristic technologies. Its not about the current but about the future. Ministry of commerce will issue visas.'
The staging of the world fair and the preparations leading up to it are expected to result in 277,000 new jobs in the UAE, an injection of nearly $40 billion into the economy, and an increase in visitors of at least 25 million and up to 100 million. The main site of Expo Dubai 2020 will be in 438-hectare area (1083 acres). UAE won the bid to host the Expo 2020 at Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) leaving its nearest contestant Russia behind by winning 116 out of 163 votes and is building a completely new Expo city mid-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at Jebel Ali.
Emphasizing on investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs, the UAE apart from pumping money is also keen on giving equal prominence to public relationships.
The World Expo in Dubai in 2020 will be the first to be held in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia region. Interestingly, the first expo’s (held in London in 1851) price exhibit was the Kohinoor which had then recently been acquired by the British after they annexed Punjab post Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s demise.