Expo Dubai will be an opportunity to deepen business ties with the United Arab Emirates
At today’s virtual press conference, Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology, highlighted the fact that the countries of the Middle East represented a major challenge to Slovenian business.
His upcoming official visit to the United Arab Emirates represents a step towards deeper ties between Slovenia and the important markets of the MEISA countries. This year’s activities will peak with Slovenia’s participation at Expo 2020, a global event that starts in Dubai on 1 October 2021 and runs through to 31 March 2022.
It is the largest international event taking place this year, and will break a number of records established through the history of the prestigious exhibition. Slovenia will appear in Dubai with its own pavilion, which will function as a Slovenian business centre for six months and as the starting point for the expansion of Slovenian know-how and expertise to markets that contain more than three billion people.
Minister Počivalšek also placed the strengthening of cooperation with the MEISA countries within the context of the post-pandemic recovery of the European (and therefore the Slovenian) economy. “Slovenia’s economy is a markedly export-oriented one and depends heavily on conditions on the European market. In order for us to return to pre-pandemic numbers as soon as possible, we will have to boost investment in economic development and, alongside this, strengthen our position on markets outside the European Union. Given their huge potential, the countries of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa are definitely a target for us, and I am sure that the efforts we are making towards this will soon result in concrete business and economic ties.”
The minister’s official visit to the UAE will be the second since 2016, when, among other business, he signed an agreement on Slovenia’s participation at Expo 2020. The central theme of discussions this time round will be the enhancement of economic cooperation between Slovenia and the Gulf state. According to the minister, there is considerable potential in the areas of pharmaceuticals, advanced technologies and artificial intelligence, as well as in green innovation and in wood-related products and services.
A tour of the Expo 2020 site, significant parts of which are already in a position to accept their first visitors, will be an important part of the visit, with countries’ pavilions, including Slovenia’s beginning to take their final shape.
The event of the year, as some are calling Expo 2020, will take place in Dubai, where a brand new business centre has sprung up that will host more than 190 official participant countries. Slovenia is one of those countries to have erected their own pavilion in Dubai.
The main slogan for Slovenia’s participation at Expo 2020 is “Slovenia. Green and Smart Experience”, which reflects the country’s commitment to the responsible linking of development with care for natural heritage. The Slovenian pavilion will, in terms of space and content, form part of one of the three overarching themes of the Expo, that of sustainability, and will cover an area of 1,500 m2 within the sustainable sector of the exhibition. The Slovenian pavilion enjoys a superb location close to one of the main entrances to the venue, which will help to grab the attention of visitors.