DUBAI – Sweden will promote its innovative spirit and knowledge-driven society to a global audience of millions at Expo 2020 Dubai, after confirming its participation at the next World Expo.
Anders Lönnberg, Commissioner General of the Committee for Sweden’s Participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, andNajeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, signed the participation contract at the Expo 2020 site.
Sweden’s government has already formally allocated funds for the country’s participation, which will be jointly funded with the nation’s business community.
Expo 2020 offers Sweden the opportunity to strengthen its versatile image abroad and market itself as a knowledge-driven society supported by sustainable development, as well as to further boost its tourism industry and highlight opportunities for investment, research and development and cultural exchange.
It will also enable Sweden, ranked Europe’s most innovative nation in Bloomberg’s 2018 Innovation Index, to showcase its focus on innovation and technology in addressing climate and environmental issues, while contributing to improved opportunities for Swedish businesses in the UAE and wider region.
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali said: “We are delighted to confirm Sweden’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“Sweden has an enviable global reputation for its record, over many decades, in the fields of innovation and sustainability, which are integral to our World Expo. Our family of international participants is ever expanding and we are excited that a nation with Sweden’s expertise and design flair will be joining us on this journey.”
With two years still to go before Expo 2020 opens to the public, more than 170 countries have already confirmed participation or indicated their intention to take part.
Anders Lönnberg said: “Expo 2020 Dubai offers Sweden an opportunity to showcase its focus on sustainability and innovation, while opening up new potential business opportunities in the UAE and across the region.
“It will also provide us with the chance to work with other countries from around the world to address key global challenges and promote our core Swedish values, which include equality, openness and collaboration.”
Sweden and the UAE share strong relations, with bilateral trade between the countries amounting to AED 3 billion (USD 820 million) in 2017. More than 4,000 Swedish expatriates currently live in the UAE, and more than 200 Swedish companies are directly or indirectly represented in the country.
Expo 2020 offers an opportunity for the two countries to further collaborate and strengthen their relations in multiple areas of common interest, including innovation, research and development, life sciences, sustainability and smart cities.
Since London’s The Great Exhibition of 1851, World Expos have celebrated the latest in innovation and technology, and Expo 2020 is no exception. Expo 2020 is already doing this through the Expo Live social impact programme, which has an allocation of USD 100 million to back projects that offer creative solutions that improve lives or preserve the planet – or both.
During the first three cycles of Expo Live’s flagship Innovation Impact Grant Programme, 70 Global Innovators from 42 countries, including Sweden, were selected.
Ignitia, a Stockholm-based company that has developed an algorithm to deliver accurate weather forecasts to small-scale farmers in West Africa via their mobile phones, was awarded a grant during the programme’s first cycle. These forecasts help farmers to better manage their crops and water use, increasing yields and reducing the risk of produce being destroyed by unfavourable weather.
From 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021, Expo 2020 expects to record 25 million visits. About 70 per cent of visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.