The Dubai World Trade Centre will create a business hub within the UAE pavilion at Milan to offer Emirati companies a direct line to European customers and partners, according to a report published yesterday by a local daily.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for UAE companies to gain exposure to the World Expo environment and there is strong interest in this initiative," Helal Al Marri, director general of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and chief executive of DWTC, said of BizHub.
"We are very proud to be associated with this iconic national project and believe that the BizHub will add to an already impressive pavilion experience. We have received a lot of interest from entities across different industries.
"With the highly limited exhibition space available, we hope to present a cross-section of organisations that shall represent the diversity of business opportunities in the UAE at this global event." The National newspaper reported that with the theme Growing Future Business, the hub is open to UAE companies whose businesses are related to the Milan Expo theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, which is aimed at exploring the challenges in feeding the planet and dealing with limited resources of land, energy and water.
"We look forward to making some other announcements on our partners in the near future," said commissioner general Salem Al Ameri.
Companies based in the UAE have shown interest in the Milan Expo, which begins in May, since they view it as a training ground for the World Fair in Dubai in 2020, officials said. The Dubai Expo 2020 theme, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, also builds on themes of sustainability and innovation, the report added.
Fabrizio Sala, a regional Italian minister for this year's expo and international business, said event organisers felt it was important to formulate innovative ways to develop expo connections.
Since the themes interconnect, officials hope to build a link between the people and businesses of the two countries, so continuous exchange is possible in all sectors.
"Above all we look towards the future because this is a journey we share together," Mr Sala said.
"Human behaviour will influence and determine the connection but if you look at positive terms, it will be good for the economy of both our countries.
"I think it's safe to say that curiosity and opportunity is bi-directional from both our countries. The expo is an occasion to open new avenues and to avoid neglect of some sectors that have never met."