H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group has met with Maya Tissafi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE, where Switzerland confirmed officially its intent to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai.
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. That meeting also agreed a budget for the Swiss Pavilion – which will be built on the Expo site – of AED 57 million. The Federal Council explained its decision in an official statement, saying, "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."
Switzerland has participated in the majority of World Expos held to date. Switzerland is a founding member of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which has had the responsibility for organising World Expos since 1928.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "I am delighted to welcome Switzerland as the first country participating in the event. We look forward to Switzerland’s participation in Expo 2020, as a partner in bringing people together from across the globe, to share their ideas and together create a common ambition for the next fifty years of human progress. We are working to deliver a World Expo that inspires millions of people around the world, and marks the progress that the UAE has made in its first 50 years. We aspire to build a legacy that provides a firm foundation for the next stage of the UAE’s progress and development."
The Swiss Ambassador said, "Switzerland and the UAE are two countries that thrive on connecting others, through travel and trade. Participating in Expo 2020 Dubai is also of great interest to Swiss companies and the tourism sector given the region’s economic potential."
She added, "We are excited to be the first country to agree to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai. We share Expo’s belief in connecting minds in order to create the future, and look forward to working closely with the organisers to contribute to a spectacular event that leaves a meaningful and long-lasting legacy both here in the UAE and at home in Switzerland."
Between October 2020 and April 2021, Dubai will host the next World Expo. Bringing together more than 180 nations and an international audience of 25 million visitors, it will be one of the greatest shows on Earth. Visitors to the event will witness the very latest in thinking and technology all in one place and at one time.