Sweden breaks ground at Expo 2020 Dubai - GulfToday

Sweden breaks ground at Expo 2020 Dubai

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The Swedish pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s sustainability district.

DUBAI:  Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade, Anna Hallberg, performed a tree planting ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday, officially marking the beginning of the construction of the Swedish pavilion, ‘The Forest’.

Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, joined the Swedish minister at today’s ceremony. Tree planting resonates with the ambition to build the pavilion entirely in wood to minimise its impact on the climate. “Building the pavilion itself in a renewable material is completely in line with both Swedish priorities and the strong climate focus on the world exhibition,” said Hallberg.

Themed ‘Co-creation for Innovation’, the Swedish pavilion highlights a strong focus on sustainability.

The Swedish Expo organisation produced a film in which Sweden’s sustainable and large-scale forest cultivation was highlighted. Whilst viewing the film, the 100  guests invited to the tree planting ceremony were able to travel to the vast plains of the region Dalarna where the trees for the Swedish pavilion were picked up last spring. For each tree harvested for the pavilion, three new ones will be planted. The Swedish pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s sustainability district.

Hallberg explained, “Our pavilion will showcase the best that Sweden has to offer within research and innovation. Building the pavilion itself in a renewable material is completely in line with both Swedish priorities and the strong climate focus of the world exhibition.”

During the Ground Planting ceremony, Minister Hallberg addressed Sweden’s strong focus on combining innovative solutions with sustainable practices as being the main reason for building the Swedish pavilion in the sustainability district of the Expo 2020 site. She also underscored the importance of global co-creation - an essential part of Sweden’s theme - Co-creation for Innovation.

Henrik Landerholm, Ambassador of Sweden to the UAE, said, “I am very proud to witness the ground-breaking for the construction of Sweden’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai - in just one year the eyes of the world will be focused on the UAE and this will be an opportunity for the country to showcase state-of-the-art technology and innovative and sustainable solutions.”

“The image of Sweden is very positive in UAE, generally associated with nature and beautiful landscapes as well as the strong recycling culture. We want to show that Sweden is also an innovative and prominent hi-tech country with world-leading companies and that there are major business and collaboration opportunities,” he added.

Meanwhile, with a new Embassy in the UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai just one year away, the Pacific island Kingdom of Tonga is gearing up to showcase its tourism and trade potential to a global audience.

The Kingdom of Tonga’s opening of its UAE Embassy this week, only its sixth diplomatic mission in the world after London, New York, Beijing, Tokyo and Canberra, signifies much more than simply filling a geographical gap in consular coverage.

Combined with the Pacific island state’s robust participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, it represents a major step to spotlighting its vast tourism and unique agricultural potential - as well as tackling the threats posed by climate change - on a stage shared with governments, investors and visitors from the Middle East and beyond.

Speaking at the Embassy opening on Monday, King Tupou VI of Tonga, said, “Recognition of our long-standing relationship with the royal families and shared concerns around global issues such as renewable energy and climate change is only further strengthened with the establishment of a diplomatic mission here in the UAE.

“Connecting minds and cooperating with developed nations such as the UAE at the World Expo 2020 enables the Kingdom of Tonga to emulate the successes and leverage opportunities for investment, trade and relationships to create a better future for her people.”

Akau’ola, Tongan Ambassador to the UAE, non-resident Ambassador to the GCC and Commissioner General for Tonga at Expo 2020, described the UAE as “a model of development” and said the Embassy and Expo 2020 would provide a significant stepping stone to the Middle East.

“We recognise the huge opportunity offered by the next World Expo, and establishing the Embassy here, almost a year out, bolsters our position and marks the start of our hard work to get the word out that we will be ready to fully engage in Expo 2020,” he said. The next World Expo, the first in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, is an unprecedented opportunity for the country of just over 100,000 people to connect with the world - from opening up its vast but undeveloped tourism potential to boosting trade in high-grade exports such as tuna and vanilla.

WAM