Germany, Europe’s largest economy and one of the world’s leading supporters of renewable energy, today sealed its EUR50 million, AED226 million, investment in the next World Expo by signing an official participation contract for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General of the German Pavilion, and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director at the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, signed the contract at a ceremony in Dubai.
Germany, which is the fourth largest economy in the world, by nominal GDP, has long been a global advocate of sustainability and renewable energy, and its national pavilion will fittingly be located in the Sustainability District at Expo 2020 Dubai. The country is set to have one of the largest pavilions at Expo, measuring 4,500 square metres in size.
Germany aims to raise its reliance on renewable electricity production from 17 percent today to more than 80 percent by 2050. This focus on renewable energy is shared by the UAE, which has set its own target of 44 percent of its energy coming from clean sources by 2050.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said, "The UAE and Germany share a vision of a cleaner, more sustainable future - something that is a key focus of Expo 2020 Dubai - and we are delighted that our close friends have become the latest nation to sign an official participation contract."
"Germany has long set a strong example to the rest of the world of the need to remember that our planet’s resources are finite and need to be cherished and preserved. Their involvement in Expo 2020 is not only a reflection of the close ties our two countries enjoy, but also of the importance that the international community places on World Expos as a platform to advance human progress," she added.
Commenting on the signing, Dietmar Schmitz said, "Even in our digital age, it is still human nature to want to meet other people in person, face to face, and to experience things ourselves in order to form our own opinions.
"Expo 2020 will bring countries and organisations together to discuss the most pressing issues facing our world and to consider solutions together, with the joint aim of pointing the way forward."
Germany is no stranger to Expos, having hosted a World Expo - Expo 2000 - in Hannover under the theme of ‘Man, Nature, Technology’, and two specialised Expos in 1957 in Berlin and 1965 in Munich.
Two leading German multinational companies are also playing a vital role in Expo 2020 Dubai. SAP is Expo’s Official Innovative Enterprise Software Partner and Siemens is Official Intelligent Infrastructure and Operations Partner, and both will contribute to the delivery of the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
The UAE and Germany have a long history of cooperation through economic and diplomatic relations, which dates back to 1972, the year after the UAE was founded.
As well as working closely with each other in the field of renewable energy, Germany and the UAE also share strong trade ties. In 2015, German imports from the UAE reached EUR900 million, or AED4 billion, while the value of German exports to the UAE reached EUR14.6 billion, AED65.9 billion.
Around 10,000 German citizens live in the UAE and more than 500,000 visited the country in 2017, a rise of 10 percent on the previous year.