“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
We are pleased to introduce you to the people who are working on the Expo 2020 in Dubai. For 6 unforgettable months, they will ensure that the message of the Luxembourg Pavilion resonates in all its vibrancy beyond the United Arab Emirates.
Today you will meet Loic Bertoli, Deputy Commissioner General of Luxembourg @ EXPO 2020 DUBAI and Executive Director of LTIO Abu Dhabi.
- What is your role in the LUXEMBOURG @ EXPO 2020 DUBAI project?
My role as Deputy Commissioner General is mainly to represent Commissioner General Maggy Nagel in all relations and interactions with local authorities and organizers to ensure Luxembourg’s participation in Expo2020 and the realization of our pavilion.
This requires building the right relationships with the key people of the Expo, but also representing the GIE in discussions or negotiations with all the service providers we worked with for the realization of our pavilion.
I learned a lot during this period, in sectors that are not necessarily part of my professional experience or my university background: dressed in a safety helmet on my head, a fluorescent jacket, and large protective shoes, I went to the construction site almost weekly for more than 2 years to follow the progress of the pavilion and represent the project manager.
Then I put on a suit and tie to discuss with the Expo organizers how to showcase Luxembourg.
2. What motivated you to undertake this project?
I was lucky enough to be able to work for 6 weeks at Expo2010 in Shanghai under the direction of the Consul General and Deputy Commissioner General at the time, Pierre Ferring, as part of the preparation of the Luxembourg Week.
This was the largest economic and commercial promotion mission of Luxembourg abroad, with, more than 200 Luxembourg businessmen and women. The energy that flowed from this project and the Expo itself, the dynamism of the people involved, but also the participation and commitment of Luxembourg in this project were extraordinary.
When the Ministry of the Economy asked me to join the Embassy and LTIO in Abu Dhabi to work on the Expo2020 project, I did not hesitate for a second. And of course, I have never regretted this choice despite the postponement of Expo2020 due to COVID.
3. What is your favorite aspect of working for LUXEMBOURG @ EXPO 2020 DUBAI?
First of all, there is the satisfaction of working on a concrete project, with a significant duration in time, an international project where many actors from all over the world have joined.
There is also the conviction to work for the influence of Luxembourg abroad, to be able to present during 6 months the multiple facets of our country and to whet the curiosity of visitors who do not necessarily know the Grand Duchy.
There is also the human side, the chance to work in a very varied international environment and to rub shoulders with people from all over the world and share their culture.
Last but not least, the happiness of working with a great team in Luxembourg and here in the UAE, both at the Embassy/LTIO and at the pavilion. Some of them have become real friends over the years.
4. What is your favorite part of the Luxembourg Pavilion?
The access ramp, from which you can see the majestic ensemble, is for me the favorite part of our pavilion. The airy effect of the membrane covering the pavilion and the ramp rising above the ground gives a sense of rising into the air to enter the pavilion.
It’s a terrific achievement on the part of the Metaform architects.
5. What is the most important lesson you have learned working for LUXEMBOURG @ EXPO 2020 DUBAI so far?
As I said earlier, working on a concrete project, with a long but definite duration, contrasts with the more conceptual and less time-defined work we usually do.
The whole “project management” part brings a lot of new experiences and lessons that will definitely be useful in my future tasks and functions.
6. Are there any special events you are looking forward to?
October 1, when the first visitor enters the pavilion! This will be an emotional and important event for me and the whole team. The result of almost 5 years of work and effort.
There is also Luxembourg Day where the Grand Duchy will be honored at Expo2020. Welcoming the highest representatives of Luxembourg to our pavilion, seeing the Luxembourg flags flying and the national anthem being sung on the Expo site will certainly be a very powerful moment.
7. What can EXPO 2020 DUBAI do for our future?
This Expo has the particularity of opening its doors at a time when the whole of humanity has been and still is facing the greatest health crisis in its history. With all the economic and financial repercussions that this implies.
Moreover, the world is also confronted with the risks of climate change, whose devastating effects can no longer be denied. Expo2020’s ambition is to find answers to these risks and challenges by connecting peoples, developing collaborations, and promoting understanding and respect for cultures.
The Expo will help to revive the world economy and strengthen international cooperation in order to fight tomorrow’s challenges together.