Sheikh Nahyan during his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said the mega event is an inspiring global platform for promoting peace and human fraternity, and establishing the common values that are essential to addressing challenges and shaping a better future for humanity.
He made this statement on Sunday while receiving, at his palace, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life at the European Commission, who is currently visiting the country as the representative of the European Union (EU) on the EU Honour Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed cooperation between the UAE and the EU and ways of reinforcing them, and exchanged views on several regional and international issues of mutual concern.
They also discussed the presence of European countries at the expo, which will help promote the values of tolerance, peace, coexistence and human dialogue.
Schinas also commended the efforts and professionalism of the UAE in organising Expo 2020 Dubai, the most important international cultural event in the world, noting that the presence of 192 countries at the event will support international efforts to address a variety of challenges.
He then affirmed that the UAE is a cultural model of promoting the values of dialogue, peace and tolerance, through supporting related international efforts and assisting many communities in dealing with global challenges, which is greatly appreciated by the EU and the world.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, received Dr Mohammed Malki Bin Othman, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore, Second Minister at Singapore’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Held at Expo 2020 Dubai, the meeting discussed the UAE and Singapore’s ongoing coordinated efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its health, economic and social repercussions. The meeting also highlighted the success of the vaccination drives in containing the spread of the pandemic.
Sheikh Mansoor expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Singapore to launch initiatives to counter the global pandemic and accelerate recovery, noting that the country’s decision to expand its vaccination campaign will result in increased immunity among the community.
The meeting also highlighted the UAE’s remarkable response to the pandemic and its proactive approach, which enabled the city to overcome the pandemic.
From his part, the Singaporean minister congratulated the UAE and its leadership on the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai, which is an indication of Dubai’s return to normalcy and ability to ensure a safe environment for visitors and exhibitors from around the world. He also praised the decisions and steps taken by the UAE to combat COVID-19 and contain its spread in record time, and expressed hope that the existing ties between the two countries would witness more growth and development during the next phase.
The meeting was attended by Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary-General of Dubai Executive Council; Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Major General Talal Hamid Belhoul Al Falasi, Director-General of the State Security Department in Dubai; and Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai. Saudi Arabia: The recent announcements made in Saudi Arabia by various government entities demonstrate significant headway on enhancing services within the Kingdom. Outlined below, are two of the key initiatives led by Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry to implement global financial practices across the Government sector as well as Saudi Arabia’s e-invoicing project, Fatoorah.
These initiatives come at a time when Saudi Arabia is showcasing the Kingdom’s digital competencies at its Expo 2020 pavilion in Dubai. For these initiatives, Saudi Arabia ranked amongst the most innovative countries in the world, in its provision of Government services and interaction with citizens, according to the GovTech report issued by the World Bank.
In this media alert, Paul Arnold, Managing Director of Sovereign Saudi Arabia, a partner company of =Sovereign AEI commented on the ongoing digital acceleration across various Government entities in the Kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, has launched an initiative to implement the latest global financial practices in the Government sector aimed at improving efficiency. The ministry had also launched a self-assessment pilot program on selected Government entities. These have been implemented after conducting field studies on the viability of such tools by assessing the efficiency of internal control systems, the level of transparency and overall control measures. It aims to strengthen financial control procedures, improve governance and the overall effortless switch to automation.”
“Another crucial initiative was the roll-out of the e-Invoicing project, called Fatoorah, that is expected to benefit the Saudi economy, mainly in addressing the commercial concealment and the ‘shadow economy’ that has cost the Kingdom almost SAR 400 billion (US $107 billion) annually. Buyers and sellers will now have a digital system to enable the smooth exchange and processing of invoices, credit and debit notes. According to Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZTCA), the program will be carried out in two phases where the first phase requires generating and storing tax invoices and notes through the compliant electronic systems which contain the required tax data fields. The next phase will focus on digitally incorporating taxpayers into the system, allowing easy access to appropriate e-invoicing services.”
These progressive initiatives will enable Sovereign AEI to provide better services and solutions to those who are looking to enter the Saudi market or expand their existing business within the kingdom. These initiatives highlight Saudi Arabia’s proficiency in allowing businesses to flourish with ease and absolute transparency. Sovereign AEI aims to promote the economy of the Kingdom through its diverse and customised services in the market.
Spain Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, in collaboration with the UAE Gender Balance Council, has organised a workshop entitled ‘Gender Equality from a Male Perspective’, which focused on encouraging egalitarian attitudes and responses through the processes of socialisation and its consequences.
Led by experts from Asociaci?n de Hombres por la Igualdad de Género (AHIGE) - Spain’s Men’s Gender Equality Association, the workshop was attended by I?igo de Palacio Espa?a, Spanish Ambassador to the UAE; Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs; and Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council.
Commenting on the event, Espa?a said that the UAE and Spain are among the world’s biggest advocates of empowering women at all levels, highlighting the need to consolidate the principle of equality in the way societies interact on a daily basis, as well as establish a culture of equal rights.
From his side, Lootah stressed the importance of promoting a societal culture based on supporting gender balance and consolidating men’s awareness of the importance of confronting all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex. He noted that the UAE government has established practices to empower women, achieve gender balance and provide equal opportunities for men and women in all fields. Social, economic and decision-making processes are a reflection of the leadership’s directives to ensure equal opportunities for both genders and to create a supportive and stimulating environment for women that enables them to actively participate in the development process, he added.
Meanwhile, Saleh said that working and cooperating with participating countries at Expo 2020 Dubai such as Spain contributes to promoting gender balance through this event which is considered as the largest global platform for promoting constructive ideas. The UAE believes in partnerships and has made great strides in the field of gender balance, thanks to its wise leadership who has provided women with all the support and assistance as it believes in their ability and entitlement to participate in various fields, she added.
Japanese authorities plan to utilise ‘”Japan Day” event - that will be held at Expo 2020 Dubai on 11th December - to promote the next world expo, which the Japanese city of Osaka will host in 2025.
Ichiro Matsui, Mayor of Osaka, has called on the Japanese government to ease coronavirus-related travel restrictions, so that the officials in charge of Expo 2025 Osaka can travel to Dubai to attend ‘Japan Day’ and meet with participants there, especially businessmen, according to Sankei Shimbun newspaper.
Matsui and Hirofumi Yoshimura, the Governor of Osaka, will travel to Dubai to attend Japan Day, which will see several activities including a reception and a show. “I would like to meet with the business community and our citizens during the event and invite the largest number of people to come and visit Expo 2025 Osaka,” Matsui was quoted by the newspaper.
The newspaper reported that Matsui and Kenji Wakamiya, Minister of the Expo 2025 Osaka, have urged the central government to relax the coronavirus-related restrictions through the use of “COVID-19 passports” so that the social and economic activities in Osaka can be reactivated.
Officials at the Ministry of Commerce in charge of Expo 2025 said that Osaka plans to allow participants to attend the reception that is planned in Dubai.
Matsui said that the quarantine is a barrier that limits the activity of those in charge of Expo Osaka as well as foreigners arriving for the event. “We can’t work if we need to quarantine, after returning to Japan [from Dubai],” he said.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had said that Expo 2025 Osaka is “a great project for the new era” after overcoming the coronavirus crisis.
As of 15th October, the number of countries that have confirmed their participation at the Expo Osaka has reached 58 countries and 5 international organisations, while Japan aims to attract the participation of 150 countries and 25 international entities. The Sankei Shimbun newspaper has reported that Expo 2020 Dubai is of great significance to Japan’s success in promoting Expo 2025 Osaka. The officials of the event believe that the ‘Japan Day’ in Dubai is “a priceless opportunity” to spread awareness about Expo 2025 Osaka.