Luxembourg will participate in the World Exhibition organized between October 2020 and April 2021 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The main theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” will highlight the power of collaboration and partnerships in building a better world. During a press conference on December 19, 2016, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures, François Bausch, and Luxembourg’s Commissioner General at Expo 2020 Dubai, Maggy Nagel, jointly presented the organizational structure of Luxembourg’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, namely the modalities for the design and construction of the pavilion, the timetable of the project and the partners of the private sector.
The organizer of the Expo proposes three sub-themes, which are all strongly interconnected: mobility, sustainability and opportunity, the latter being considered a priority for Luxembourg. According to the Commissioner General for the Luxembourg pavilion, Maggy Nagel, it is vital to seize this opportunity and to show that Luxembourg is resolutely looking into the future in an interconnected and open world: “The pavilion will represent a reliable and dynamic country, which reinvented itself several times throughout its history. It transformed itself from an agricultural country into an industrial power to then turn into a global financial center, while experiencing today a new shift towards research, digital technologies and space industries. The planning of the pavilion and the development of its permanent and temporary exhibitions should reflect an open, inclusive and collaborative approach as well as a respectful use of resources and the environment. Both the content and the pavilion aim to positively stimulate the imagination of the visitors who will be carried away by the optimistic outlook on a future that emphasizes the quality of life and the creation of opportunities for all. By portraying the country as a nation that aspires to be an excellent example of this vision, the pavilion will be a perfect ambassador for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
A call for tender for the design of the pavilion will be launched in January 2017, targeting groups of architects and scenographers. At the core lies a truly global project embedded in the principles of a circular economy, exemplified by its architectural, functional and scenographic aspects, including the choice of materials and innovative technologies. The intelligent and sustainable management of resources will be incorporated in the design and construction of the pavilion and will be embraced as a theme during events hosted on its premises. Construction of the pavilion will start as of October 2018 on a surface of 3.500 m2. The resources highlighted in the pavilion will be incorporated into a Luxembourgish context and will encompass landscapes and nature, iron ore as the origin of decades of glory, foreign workers and capital contributing to the country’s economic wealth as well as the future exploration of space resources forming the basis of the SpaceResources.lu initiative.
At the press conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider stated: “Our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is a continuation of excellent bilateral relations between our two countries. Considered a pole of stability, the United Arab Emirates is by far the most important trading partner of Luxembourg in the Gulf region. Promoting innovation and sustainable development, the theme of Expo 2020 is perfectly aligned with our national policy of economic diversification, particularly with regard to the space sector and information and communication technologies. Dubai is the first Arab city in the world to host a universal exhibition aiming at more than 25 million visitors. Therefore, participation in the Expo is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of Luxembourg with all its strengths on the international scene and in particular in the Middle East “.
Like the structure established for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, an economic interest group (GIE), in charge of the organization as well as the implementation of the Luxembourg participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, has been set up. This legal form has a number of advantages, in particular with regard to the association and involvement of the three strategic partners of the private sector, namely the Chamber of Commerce, POST Luxembourg and SES, which together contribute 30% of the total budget envelope including an estimated amount of € 25 million. The State will be represented in the GIE by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure.
Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce: “Since the very first world exposition in London in 1851, the Chamber of Commerce has always supported Luxembourg’s participations. This will not be different for Dubai which represents an ideal opportunity to position the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the international arena, promote its economy and seize the enormous economic and commercial opportunities that come with it. Connecting Luxembourg businessmen with fellow businessmen from all the corners of the world is clearly encoded in our DNA. Expo 2020 Dubai will be a great opportunity to showcase the numerous projects implemented as part of our strategy regarding the third industrial revolution and to encourage more companies to embark on the same path.”
Claude Strasser, CEO of POST Luxembourg: “It is a privilege for us to have been solicited to join the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at an event of such global scale. The theme of the exhibition “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” perfectly fits the vision and values of POST. This will be an opportunity for us to highlight all the Luxembourg know-how and to open ourselves even further to the world.”
Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES: “Flagship of the national economy, SES is an excellent example of the global scope of Luxembourg. Covering 99% of the planet and connecting more than one billion people every day with our satellites, SES perfectly illustrates the fact that a small country can have a significant impact well beyond its borders and well beyond Europe to the most remote corners of the globe. As a strong partner of the government, we are very enthusiastic about the participation in Expo 2020 where the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will make its first successful steps in space with the satellite industry and where the country will position itself with SpaceResources.lu once again as a pioneer of space technologies.”
Communicated by the ministry of the Economy / ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure