By Staff writer
European republic follows Switzerland in pledging to play role in international mega event
The Republic of Slovenia has signed a letter of intent, confirming that it has joined the countries that have signed up to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai.
The agreement was signed at a meeting between Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE's Minister of Economy, and Zdravko Pocivalsek, Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology.
The meeting was part of bilateral co-operation talks between the UAE and Slovenia in key economic sectors including innovation, tourism, sustainability, transport, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Al Mansouri said: "Slovenia enjoys long-standing ties and increasingly strong economic relations with the UAE, and we are delighted that it has confirmed its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, four years ahead of the mega-event. We look forward to Slovenia’s participation as the UAE hosts the region’s first mega event, which will bring nations together to build a better future, and a lasting legacy, for the region and the world."
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and director-general Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai, added: "Today’s announcement with Slovenia demonstrates the power of the expo to form new connections for the future. We are building a festival of human ingenuity that brings millions of visitors and 200 countries, companies and NGOs together. I am delighted that Slovenia has confirmed its participation so early in the process."
Pocivalsek said: "Today’s meeting sets the foundation for our cooperation over the next four years. Signing this letter of intent is an important step. Slovenia has a strong focus on sustainable development, particularly in the tourism sector."
As one of the first nations to sign up to participate in the expo, Slovenia will now begin the process of designing its national pavilion for the mega event. Construction of pavilions will begin in the second quarter of 2018.
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.
Expo 2020 is scheduled to be hosted by Dubai in an area next to Jebel Ali. Spanning 438,000 square metres, Dubai Expo 2020 will be 10 percent larger in size than Milan Expo 2015.
UAE officials are expecting the event to create 277,000 jobs, most of which will be in the tourism industry.