Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb will be a Dutch Expo Champion alongside development Minister Sigrid Kaag at Expo 2020 Dubai. As Expo Champion, he will inspire and inform Dutch companies about the opportunities that the Gulf region and Expo 2020 offer. At the same time, he will help showcase Dutch innovations in the fields of water, energy and food.
‘The Netherlands is a small country. We don’t have the space to feed the world, but we do have fantastic technology and expertise, and can showcase our strengths when it comes to water, energy and food,’ said the mayor. ‘I led a successful trade mission to the UAE earlier this year, with innovative Dutch businesses, and saw first-hand how much our companies are in demand there.’
EXPO 2020 Dubai
From 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, the 35th World Expo will be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will host a record number of 192 countries, presenting ideas, innovations and technologies related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The organisers estimate that the Expo will attract 25 million visitors, 70% of them from foreign countries such as India and China.
About 300 Dutch firms are doing business in the UAE. Dutch exports to the Gulf region amount to over €14 billion a year. Countries in the region are large-scale consumers of water and energy, and import most of their food.
The Gulf countries are increasingly aware that things have to change, and have high ambitions in this regard. To achieve these ambitions they need a lot of knowledge and experience. The rest of the world also faces major challenges with regard to the sustainable use of water, food and energy. Of the 17 SDGs, 11 relate to these three themes.
Dutch companies, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations have a great deal of knowledge and know-how in these areas and can play a major role in meeting these challenges. In the words of Ms Kaag, ‘Expo 2020 will be a springboard for trade in the Gulf region, extending far beyond the exposition itself.’