A Christmas tree is seen at Al Wasl Plaza at Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday.
Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
Angola has celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai in an official ceremony that included raising the flags and playing the national anthems of both countries, and performances of traditional Angolan songs.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, received Joao Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola, and his delegation, in the presence of Najib Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Director of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office.
“I am here today to celebrate Angola’s National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as to highlight, on behalf of Angola’s people, the pioneering capabilities we are creatively showcasing in our pavilion,” President Lourenço said.
“I have seen the active role of the people of Angola, and youth in particular, in highlighting our ability to shape our present and future by mastering new technologies, which are effective tools for establishing links between our heritage and modern values,” he added.
Al Ali expressed his appreciation for Lourenço’s valuable participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, stating, “Through Angola’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai, we are keen to strengthen our friendship and cooperation in various areas, including tourism, culture, sustainable development and foreign direct investment for the benefit of our countries.”
After the ceremony, Lourenço and his delegation visited Angola’s pavilion and viewed its contents, showcasing African heritage and history and Angola’s distinguished culture.
Tajikistan also celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Tajikistan’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Davlatali Said and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Commissioner-General office, Expo 2020 Dubai.
The ceremony began with a flag-raising ceremony for the two countries, and followed by live cultural performances that reflected the country’s centuries-old heritage at Al Wasl Plaza, the Tajikistan Pavilion and other places in Expo 2020 Dubai.
The UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure said, “As part of its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Tajikistan is showcasing its potentials as a water source in Central Asia under the theme: Water for Sustainable Development.’’
Al Mazrouei added, “As it plays a key global role with regard to water management, Tajikistan is taking advantage of its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai to enhance cooperation with the international community and launch a platform for more joint action regarding water resources and its close link to sustainable social and economic development.’’
In turn, Said said, “The issue of climate change, the rapid disappearance of glaciers and the consequences affecting human life and the planet is a very substantive issue as water resources are essential for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty and hunger.”
He indicated, “ the country holds about 60 per cent of Central Asia’s water and its general potential reserves is 527 billion kWh per year, which is three times higher than the current demand of all Central Asian countries and with rational use of these resources Central and South Asia can be supplied with green and cheap energy.’’
Tajikistan’s pavilion highlights water and its close link to economic, social and environmental issues. The pavilion was designed in harmony with the main theme “Water for Sustainable Development” and used elements of the country’s national architecture to create an immersive and compelling experience.
Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Finance and its Indonesian counterpart have discussed bolstering economic relations between both countries during their participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) participated in the Indonesian Ministry of Finance Week’s events, organised by the Indonesian Pavilion from 21st to 22nd December, 2021.
Mariam Mohammad Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Management of Financial Resources at MoF was briefed on the latest sustainable projects and methods of developing Islamic economic financing in Indonesia.
She also met with Husin Bagis, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the UAE, and Boby Wahyu Hernawan, Finance Attaché, Indonesian Embassy in the UAE; along with other officials from the MoF and the Government of Dubai’s Department of Finance.
Al Amiri noted that the UAE aims to expand its economic, trade and investment relations with Indonesia, to spur the business environment and promote investment, growth and prosperity. She said, “The UAE is keen to establish strategic economic partnerships with Indonesia and various promising markets globally, to build a new phase of sustainable growth during the next stage.”
Bagis said, “We have taken vital steps to consolidate cooperation with the UAE, as the Indonesian Government has seriously developed the syaria economy by setting up The National Committee of Islamic Economy and Finance (KNEKS) led directly by President Joko Widodo. These developments have flourished the syaria economy ecosystem in Indonesia, as indicated by the market share and its Sharia Human Capital Indexes. On the other hand, Bank Syariah Indonesia (BSI), the largest Islamic Sharia bank in Indonesia, is opening its first representative office in the Emirate of Dubai.”
The Indonesian Ministry of Finance Week at Expo 2020 Dubai included several events, such as a talk show on sustainable projects to highlight such projects in the country and investment potentials and achievements in managing sustainable projects. In addition, a seminar was held on developing the Islamic economy and finance, discussing the importance of education in the field of Islamic economy and finance and boosting them between both countries.
Earlier this year, the UAE, with the Indonesia Investment Authority, invested more than US$10 billion to stimulate Indonesia’s economic growth across strategic fields such as energy, infrastructure, tourism, technology and food security.
Meanwhile, Corporate sustainability in practice was under the microscope at a special Expo 2020 Dubai edition of the Canon Frontiers of Innovation thought-leadership series, featuring Unilever’s Head of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Priya Sarma Muthur and Canon EMEA’s Sustainability & Government Affairs Director, Peter Bragg.
At Unilever, a ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ places sustainability at the heart of business strategy and operations. “More than 2.5 billion people use Unilever products each day,” explains Muthur. “We made a strategic decision to use our scale to help consumers and the planet.”
According to Bragg, the philosophy of ‘Kyosei’, a Japanese word meaning ‘living and working together for the common good’, has been central to Canon’s operations for over thirty years. “Whilst the principles are nothing new, there is a growing sense of urgency to drive the sustainability agenda, from product development and manufacture to service.”
The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report highlights that the world’s top five risks are environmental – extreme weather events, natural disasters, climate change, human damage to the environment and major biodiversity loss. To make a real impact, corporate sustainability has to look beyond the core business. “These risks impact our people, customers and suppliers,” says Bragg. It’s not enough to drive change only for ourselves, we have to drive it across our entire operation. Ethical supply chains are proven to be more resilient.”
Muthur strongly agrees, “We are working to specifically prevent risk across the supply chain at scale. For example, climate change is a concern for tea production, and we are one of the largest buyers of tea in the world.”