Norway will promote its innovations, technologies and further development of the country’s ocean industries to a global audience of millions, after confirming its participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The country’s participation was confirmed in a letter from Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, delivered by Jens Eikaas, Norway’s Ambassador to the UAE, to Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.
Last month, Abdullah Khalfan Al Rumaithi, UAE Ambassador to Norway, met Roy Angelvik, Norway’s State Secretary for the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and Jens Eikaas to discuss Norway’s participation at Expo 2020 and the further strengthening of bilateral relations.
Under the theme ‘Pioneers of the ocean space’, Norway will use Expo 2020 to showcase its technology and innovations from a range of ocean industries including oil and gas, maritime and seafood.
Norway is also a leader in sustainable ocean resource management and research, with ocean industries accounting for about 70 per cent of the country’s total export revenues.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, estimates that ocean industries are likely to provide more than 40 million jobs by 2030, with the global ocean economy set to double in the same period due to strong growth in jobs, including offshore wind energy, fish processing, tourism, shipping and port operations.
Commenting on the announcement, Reem Al Hashemy said, "We want Expo 2020 Dubai to be a celebration of the latest technologies and innovations so we are delighted that Norway, one of the most forward-thinking countries on the planet, has confirmed its participation."
"Like the UAE, Norway is a country that understands the value of the world’s oceans and the need to protect them, so we are excited to see the ideas and innovations that they will bring to Expo, and the world, in 2020," she added.
Norway’s participation in Expo 2020 will be supported by the Norwegian business sector and the state, with the country last participating in a World Expo at Expo 2010 Shanghai.
Jens Eikaas said, "Expo 2020 Dubai offers our country an excellent opportunity to show the world how Norway is a true leader in technology and innovation, particularly in the ocean space.
"Expo 2020 is not only a gateway to the UAE and the region, but also an opportunity to gain access to markets across Africa and South Asia that are particularly relevant for our expertise in areas including oil and gas, maritime, renewable energy and environmental technology."
Norway and the UAE are already closely linked, with bilateral trade between the two countries estimated at AED898.6 million (US$244.7 million) in 2016. More than 100 Norwegian companies are based in the UAE, across industries including oil and gas, shipping, consultancy and chemicals.
Expo 2020 will be an opportunity for both countries to further collaborate and strengthen their relations in multiple areas of common interest including innovation, education, tourism, trade and entrepreneurship.
World Expos, which date back to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, have always celebrated the latest in innovation and technology.
Expo 2020 is following that tradition, and through its Expo Live programme it is already backing projects that offer creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives, or help preserve the world – or both.
Norwegian innovators are already benefitting from Expo Live’s US$100 million programme. During the first three cycles of the flagship Innovation Impact Grant Programme, 70 Expo Live Global Innovators from 42 countries were selected, with one, Desert Control, providing working examples of Expo supporting some of the innovative ideas originating from Norway.
Desert Control has developed an innovative mixture of water and clay that transforms dry, sandy soil into lucrative arable land that could assist with helping to prevent a future global food crisis.
Expo 2020 will run for six months from 20th October 2020 to 10th April 2021 and is expected to record 25 million visits, with an unprecedented 70 percent of visitors anticipated to come from outside the UAE. More than 170 countries have already c