Germany, Europe’s largest economy and one of the world’s leading supporters of renewable energy, today sealed its EUR 50 million (AED 226 million) investment in the next World Expo by signing an official participation contract for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General of the German Pavilion, and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, signed the contract in a short ceremony in Dubai.
Germany, which is the fourth largest economy in the world (by nominal GDP), has long been a global advocate of sustainability and renewable energy, and its national pavilion will fittingly be located in the Sustainability District at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Western European nation has announced that it will invest EUR 50 million (AED 226 million) in its Expo 2020 Dubai participation, and is set to have one of the largest pavilions at Expo, measuring 4,500 square metres in size.
Sustainable development and renewable energy are key drivers of Germany’s economy and the country has formulated guidelines for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply, including expanding the use of renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency.
Germany aims to raise its reliance on renewable electricity production from 17 percent today to more than 80 percent by 2050. This focus on renewable energy is shared by the UAE, which has set its own target of 44 percent of its energy coming from clean sources by 2050.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “The UAE and Germany share a vision of a cleaner, more sustainable future – something that is a key focus of Expo 2020 Dubai – and we are delighted that our close friends have become the latest nation to sign an official participation contract.
“Germany has long set a strong example to the rest of the world of the need to remember that our planet’s resources are finite and need to be cherished and preserved.
“Their involvement in Expo 2020 is not only a reflection of the close ties our two countries enjoy, but also of the importance that the international community places on World Expos as a platform to advance human progress.”
Dietmar Schmitz said: “Even in our digital age, it is still human nature to want to meet other people in person, face to face, and to experience things ourselves in order to form our own opinions.
“Expo 2020 will bring countries and organisations together to discuss the most pressing issues facing our world and to consider solutions together, with the joint aim of pointing the way forward.”
Germany is no stranger to Expos, having hosted a World Expo – Expo 2000 – in Hannover under the theme of ‘Man, Nature, Technology’, and two specialised Expos in 1957 in Berlin and 1965 in Munich.
Two leading German multinational companies are also playing a vital role in Expo 2020 Dubai. SAP is Expo’s Official Innovative Enterprise Software Partner and Siemens is Official Intelligent Infrastructure and Operations Partner, and both will contribute to the delivery of the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
The UAE and Germany have a long history of co-operation through economic and diplomatic relations, which dates back to 1972, the year after the UAE was founded.
Since then, both nations have worked to develop relations through the exchange of visits on the highest political level and bilateral agreements in areas including foreign affairs, air transport and taxation.
Last year, the UAE and Germany signed a partnership to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector, with the agreement covering topics such as renewable energy technology, energy efficiency and research and development. It will include scientific exchange, governmental and expert workshops, industry meetings and delegation visits.
As well as working closely with each other in the field of renewable energy, Germany and the UAE also share strong trade ties. In 2015, German imports from the UAE reached EUR 900 million (AED 4 billion), while the value of German exports to the UAE reached EUR 14.6 billion (AED 65.9 billion).
Around 10,000 German citizens live in the UAE and more than 500,000 visited the country in 2017, a rise of 10 percent on the previous year.
Through its overall theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai will be a platform to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration globally, giving visitors a glimpse into the future, guided by its three pillars: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Expo 2020 Dubai will run for six months from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 and is expected to record 25 million visits, with 70 percent anticipated to come from outside the UAE.
More than 180 countries are expected to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, and 170 nations have either publically or privately confirmed their participation to date.
Further national participation announcements are expected in the coming months.