Bridging cultures – GulfToday

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Visitors at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Belgium celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday with a visit by King Phillippe Leopold Louis Marie, as well as a stunning parade and exciting musical performances that showcased the country’s creativity.

King Phillippe and Queen Mathilde, accompanied by Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy and Employment; and Sophie Wilmès, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the Federal Cultural Institutions were welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

King Phillippe said: “The UAE has proudly become a global centre at a crossroads of culture, while keeping its own unique culture. Belgium is proud of having been at your side as a partner and friend, and looks forward to contributing to the realisation of the Emirati dream. Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the first major events since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. What you have achieved is truly impressive.

“Our Belgium Pavilion is designed to be a meeting place. It symbolises our common vocation to build bridges between cultures, to promote dialogue, and foster innovation.”

Sheikh Nahyan said: “Belgium’s participation in this Expo demonstrates to the world its openness to partnerships, particularly as a green and smart country that is moving ahead to create smart mobility systems for the future.”

“We are proud of the significant bilateral relations that we share with Belgium that have evolved into strategic partnerships across several viable sectors, such as logistics, life sciences and tourism, and hope to further expand on our work in areas of joint interest.”

Speaking later to the media, King Phillippe added: “Belgium’s message at Expo 2020 Dubai is to have people come together and think about the future, think about innovation and about peace You have all these countries represented in the pavilions and it’s very peaceful. It is a wonderful feeling.”

The Belgium Pavilion also held cultural events throughout the day including performances by the Jazz Station Big Band featuring Grégoire Maret and the Brussels Ommegang perfomers.

Located in the Mobility District, the Belgium Pavilion offers visitors a chance to learn about the country’s inspiring vision for the future of mobility, in which smart mobility systems will lead the way. The pavilion showcases how Belgian thinkers and entrepreneurs have come together to sketch their vision for the year 2050, and how today’s creative innovations will provide the basis for smart, safe, and clean mobility in years to come.

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo 2020’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.

Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 has invited visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

India Pavilion records 900K visitors: The India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has achieved yet another milestone by registering nine lakh visitors since its inauguration on October 1, 2021. The Pavilion was inaugurated by Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha and has so far clocked 9,05,021visitors as on 4th February 2022.

In his tweet message, Shri Goyal said, “New India’s new milestone @Expo2020Dubai. Over 9 Lakh people have already visited the spellbinding India Pavilion. #IndiaAtDubaiExpo continues to capture the world’s imagination with its insight, innovation & opportunities.” At present, the India Pavilion is hosting the Kerala Week, which was inaugurated by Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala and Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

During Kerala week, the state will showcase its business potentials for investment in various key sectors along with its culture and tradition through a series of events. Kerala week will witness important government engagements with industry leaders, business organizations and one-to-one meetings with an intent to bring more investment to the state in key growth sectors. The Health & Wellness week, which was concluded recently at the India Pavilion helped India to showcase opportunities in Health Delivery, MedTech, Pharma, Medical Travel and AYUSH sectors as well as created a channel of interaction with Governments of different countries, businesses, and industry leaders, which would help in exchange of best practices adopted across the world.

The high-profile visitors to the pavilion since its inauguration include Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Bhupendra Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri B.S. Yediyurappa, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, and India’s Foreign Secretary, Harsh V Shringla, Dr K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) & Secretary, Department of Space, among others.

Narayan Rane, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Shri R.K. Singh, Union Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy, Smt. Darshana V Jardosh, Union Minister of State for Textile & Railways, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Minister of State for MSME and Shri Satish Mahana, Minister for Industrial Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP), along with various other dignitaries joined virtually.  The India Pavilion has made its mark among the 192 participating nations by being recognized as one of the most iconic pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai by the American Institute of Architects.

States such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and UT of Ladakh, J&K, and Goa among others have successfully exhibited their sectoral expertise and lucrative business ecosystem along with rich cultural heritage and sourced investment opportunities from leading global investors.

Sectors such as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), New and Renewable Energy, Space, Urban and Rural Development, Oil & Gas, Textile, Knowledge and Learning, and Tourism have held respective weeks to highlight the growth and investment opportunities in these areas.




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