On October 8, 2019, Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade, Ms. Anna Hallberg, performed a tree planting ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai, officially marking the beginning of the construction of the Swedish pavilion The Forest.
To highlight the strong focus on sustainability in the Swedish pavilion, especially in a region with a tough climate for plant cultivation where tree removal rarely is regarded as something positive, the Swedish Expo organization had produced a film in which Sweden’s sustainable and large-scale forest cultivation was shown. In the film, the one-hundred invited guests at the tree planting were able to travel to the vast plains of the region Dalarna where the trees for the Swedish pavilion were picked up last spring. For each tree harvested for the pavilion, three new ones will be planted. The Swedish pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s sustainability district.
“Our pavilion will showcase the best that Sweden has to offer within research and innovation. Building the pavilion itself in a renewable material is completely in line with both Swedish priorities and the strong climate focus of the world exhibition,” says Minister for Foreign Trade Anna Hallberg.
During the Ground Planting ceremony, Minister Hallberg addressed Sweden’s strong focus on combining innovative solutions with sustainable practices as being the main reason for building the Swedish pavilion in the sustainability district of the Expo 2020 site. She also underscored the importance of global co-creation – an essential part of Sweden’s theme – Co-creation for Innovation.
“I am very proud to witness the ground-breaking for the construction of Sweden’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai – in just one year the eyes of the world will be focused on the UAE and this will be an opportunity for the country to showcase state-of-the-art technology and innovative and sustainable solutions. The image of Sweden is very positive in UAE, generally associated with nature and beautiful landscapes as well as the strong recycling culture. We want to show that Sweden is also an innovative and prominent hi-tech country with world-leading companies and that there are major business and collaboration opportunities.” says H.E. Ambassador Henrik Landerholm.
Sweden’s theme is “Co-creation for Innovation“. Anders Lönnberg is the Commissioner General for the Swedish Expo organization: “Swedes have for a long time collaborated and co-created. It is natural in Sweden that if we utilize knowledge from all sectors and put it together into something new, you can do a lot of good, both for us in Sweden and abroad. Co-creation for innovation therefore becomes a natural theme in our pavilion.”
The Swedish pavilion, the Forest, won an architectural competition and is designed by a team of three agencies from three different countries, which itself is indeed a very successful co-creation; Alessandro Ripellino Architects, Studio Adrien Gardère and Luigi Pardo Architetti.
“Beautiful and enchanting, it is a fusion of dense Nordic woodland and Arabic geometric design, bringing together two cultures. At ground level, public areas house the exhibition and café, while offices and conference rooms are raised aloft – like tree houses – forming a roof over parts of the pavilion”, said by the jury when announcing the winners.
The Swedish pavilion consists of five themes: Next generation’s travel and transport, Smart cities, Circular and bio-based economy, Life science, and A connected industry and new materials.
The Forest will promote Sweden as a world-class partner and location for trade, investment and tourism.
Minister for Foreign Trade, Ms. Anna Hallberg: “Expo 2020 in Dubai provides a global platform to showcase the Swedish ambition for the future. Through a strong collaboration between the government, private sector, academia and civil society, the Swedish pavilion will present the very best and innovative solutions that are necessary to meet tomorrow’s challenges. For Sweden’s National Expo Day, 15 December 2020, we have something very special planned in the true spirit of Alfred Nobel and with high-level attendance. Don’t miss that!”