Expo 2020 Set to Provide a Much-Needed Boost to the Global Economy
This week, Dubai launched its Expo 2020, a long-awaited World Expo trade convention that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the event, which is slated to run for six months and bring in millions of visitors, the city of Dubai hopes to augment tourism and investments into the Emirate. The event is set to have large-scale positive impacts on the global economy, which has suffered due to the coronavirus. In particular, the event could help countries obtain investments for critical projects, showcase their technological advancements, and form new partnerships.
Expo 2020 is the first major global event to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The event, which will operate for 182 days between October 2021 and March 2022, will focus on three key themes — Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. It is the first World Exposition hosted in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region since the World Expo series was created in 1851. As of now, over 190 countries are expected to showcase their exhibits at the 438-hectare Expo site, displaying their cultures and national advancements. The convention will likely set the stage for forthcoming global gatherings. The Dubai government has spent approximately $7 billion to organize the event, aiming to bring in around 25 million visitors to visit the over 200 pavilions at the Expo.
As many Dubai officials have noted, the Expo will be a prime opportunity for nations worldwide to showcase their successes and explore new collaborations, both of which are critical for creating and promoting resilience and comprehensive solutions to global challenges. For example, the Dubai Chamber, an official partner of Expo 2020, recently announced it would be exploring new avenues for collaboration through the Global Business Forum Latin America 2022, which is occurring on the sidelines of the Expo. Dubai Chamber’s offices in Latin America recently hosted a webinar to promote the Expo event as an opportunity for organizations in Latin America to learn more about the benefits of doing business in Dubai. The event brought together more than 600 participants from 20 countries and a variety of industries, including consulting, manufacturing, government, advertising, retail, and financial services.
The European Union is set to host over 40 events and exhibitions that aim to promote engagement around fey themes: Sustainability, Green Deal and Climate Change, Food, Farming and Health, Innovation and Digitalization, Business and Trade, and Inclusivity and Equality, with a focus on women’s empowerment. EU representatives have noted that Expo 2020 will serve as a space to foster engagement and support for the EU’s goals of building a more sustainable future.
Indeed, the organization of the Expo itself provides unique opportunities to form and deepen partnerships. For example, Mapei Construction Chemicals LLC, an Italian manufacturer of chemical products for the construction industry, provided more than 30 products to help construct the Expo Pavilion in the lead-up to the event.
The Expo will also be a valuable opportunity for Dubai to solidify its position as an economic, technological, and logistics hub in the region and shine a light on its successful development model. The 182-day convention will also enable the city to display its recent advancements in numerous sectors. For example, Dubai introduced the world’s largest solar power project at the beginning of the Expo, showcasing the significant investments the city has made in the environmental and energy sectors. Additionally, the city has attributed considerable resources to creating a streamlined digital experience for Expo attendees, touching on everything from cybersecurity to customer experience. If these interventions work well, they could be adopted city-wide to improve the daily experiences of Dubai’s residents and visitors. Both advancements could also spark interest from global businesses that are interested in expanding innovation in their energy and technology sectors.
As the first major global event to take place since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Expo 2020 could provide the global economy with a much-needed boost. The pandemic has had a massive effect on the global economy, sparking the worst global recession since World War II. According to the International Monetary Fund’s April 2021 World Economic Outlook Report, the global economy contracted by 3.5% in 2020, reflecting a 7% loss since October 2019. Today, in most parts of the world, the pandemic is still the biggest threat to domestic growth. However, the influx of new trade deals and economic partnerships could help change this. Indeed, the IMF predicted that the Expo would spark a rise in the UAE’s GDP.
Dubai will host the Expo 2020 trade convention for the next six months, bringing together hundreds of countries and millions of businesses and visitors. Following a year and half of economic breakdown, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 could pave the way to numerous new trade and economic partnerships that can help revive both Dubai’s local economy and the global economy.