Switzerland has become the first country to officially sign up for the Dubai Expo 2020.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, made the announcement after meeting with Maya Tissafi, Switzerland’s ambassador to the UAE.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “Expo 2020 Dubai will be an international focal point where people and countries will come together to celebrate human ingenuity, and our shared ability to build a better future.
“We are delighted that the Swiss government has committed to participate, over four years ahead of the start of the Expo. The decision is an important reflection of the international role played by the UAE, and the significance of Expo 2020.”
The Swiss Federal Council agreed to take part in Expo 2020 at a meeting held last week which also agreed a budget for the Swiss Pavilion – which will be built on the Expo site – of $15.5m.
The Federal Council said in a statement: “Given the economic and political significance of the host country and the geopolitical weight of the Gulf region, the Federal Council decided that Switzerland would participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai.
“Switzerland’s presence will be a unique opportunity to present the country and its research capacity and innovation in the fields of renewable energies, mobility and the environment to a wider public.”
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We look forward to Switzerland’s participation in Expo 2020. We are working to deliver a World Expo that inspires millions of people around the world, and marks the progress that UAE has made in its first 50 years.”
Between October 2020 and April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to welcome more than 180 nations and an international audience of 25 million visitors.
UAE officials are expecting the event to create 277,000 jobs, most of which will be in the tourism industry.