New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Simon Bridges formally announced the country’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai today by delivering a letter of acceptance from Simon William English, Prime Minister of New Zealand.
The country shares close ties with the UAE, as well as a shared vision in many key areas, such as energy and education. It has also been a vocal supporter of Dubai on its journey to hosting the next World Expo.
The Expo will be a festival for all, where, through its theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, it will give people a glimpse into the future as well as providing a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration.
New Zealand’s desire to take part in the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region is grounded in the country’s core values, Kaitiaki, Ingenuity and Integrity.
Kaitiaki is a New Zealand term used for the Maori concept of guardianship, reflecting the country’s goal of preserving its environment and culture for generations to come. The idea of Kaitiaki, along with New Zealand’s other values of ingenuity and integrity, echo the Expo’s three pillars, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The use of more clean energy is a common goal of the UAE and New Zealand, who signed an agreement in 2014 on the deployment of renewable energy solutions in various parts of the world.
New Zealand already generates nearly 85 percent of its total energy supply using renewable sources, while the UAE has set a target of 44 percent of its energy coming from clean sources by 2050, with Dubai setting a target of 75 percent.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said, "There are many goals in common between New Zealand and the UAE including working towards achieving a clean and renewable future. New Zealand’s decision to take part in Expo 2020 underlines the importance that Dubai plays as a global destination and a point of convergence for the peoples of the world, consistent with Expo’s overall theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’."
New Zealand Ambassador to the UAE Jeremy Clarke-Watson added, "New Zealand has a strong trade and economic relationship with the United Arab Emirates. Our countries embrace innovation and technology, so we are excited to share knowledge and ideas as we work together towards Expo 2020 Dubai."
While New Zealand and the UAE already have strong ties in renewable energy, trade and agriculture, New Zealand is also keen to strengthen relations in technology, space, health care, environmental planning and protection and medical research.
The country is an important supplier for the UAE’s food and beverage, health and infrastructure sectors in particular. Non-oil trade between the two nations stood at Dh2.6 billion in 2015.