Canada confirmed its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday, with the aim to explore trade opportunities and access new markets during the next World Expo platform.
The G7 nation’s participation was sealed during two separate high-level meetings between Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Mohammed Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Dubai Ruler’s Court, held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Mohammad Al Gergawi welcomed the public confirmation of participation in Expo 2020 Dubai by Canada, one of 190 nations that have committed to taking part.
He said, "The UAE is a hub for important global events like the Expo that will help contribute to a brighter global future. We are working hard to ensure greater international cooperation to enhance the future of humanity, founded on the strong relationships that we enjoy with countries around the world, including Canada."
Expo 2020 Dubai will mark Canada’s first participation in a World Expo since Expo 2010 Shanghai China, and will see the country showcase its economic, social and cultural contributions to a global audience of millions.
Mohammed Al Shaibani, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, commented on his own fruitful exchange with Minister Carr on the sidelines of Davos, noting, "It is welcome news that Canada is rejoining the Expo movement to participate at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are looking forward to leveraging the Expo platform to continue to build on investment ties with Canada, Canadian companies and the Canadian community here who call the UAE their home."
As the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 will enable countries and companies from around the world to build relationships and explore new avenues for trade.
Commenting on the announcement, Jim Carr said, "With the eyes of the world on Dubai, our presence at Expo 2020 affirms the vitality of Canada-UAE relations, while showcasing the best Canada has to offer. We only need to look at the lasting effects that hosting two world fairs has had on the fabric of our own nation to understand the potential this represents for Canada and for Canadians."
Canada will also be able to further promote its trade diversification strategy through the next World Expo, which will see the Canadian government invest US$1.1 billion over the next six years to develop infrastructure that will boost international trade and open up opportunities for local exporters in new markets.
Canada and the UAE already enjoy strong bilateral relations and Expo 2020 Dubai will offer a unique opportunity to boost them further. The UAE is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with merchandise exports valued at $1.6 billion in 2017.
Both countries are committed to pursuing opportunities to further enhance bilateral relations, especially in areas such as trade, science and innovation, youth empowerment, tourism and infrastructure development.
Through its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and key subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, the next World Expo will bring the international community together for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress.
Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visits between 20th October 2020 and 10th April 2021, and 70 percent of its visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE - the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos.