Visitors enjoy the last evening of the year at Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today
Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor
Vietnam marked its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day with a cultural performance of the nation’s performing arts, including a rendition of the UNESCO-recognised song Quan ho son in Bac Ninh at Al Wasl during the official ceremony.
Ta Quang Dong, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was welcomed by Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs.
Ta Quang Dong said, “Expo 2020 becomes even more special in the context that the whole world is experiencing an unprecedented challenging and difficult period of time in history due to the profound and multi-dimensional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of the first events where 192 participating countries gather and meet in person once again to showcase their achievements, latest advancements, connect and work together for the future. The theme of Expo 2020 Dubai reflects the reality of today’s world where no single country can solve the challenges we are facing but requires the solidarity of all countries in the world.
“Vietnam wishes to promote the power of cultural values and the creativity of Vietnamese people to make practical and effective contributions to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as join hands with international friends to address the challenges the humanity is facing.”
Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi said, “As one of the fastest growing economies and the third-largest market in South East Asia, Vietnam’s presence at Expo highlights its journey of growth and development. Vietnam has joined other change-makers at Expo 2020 Dubai to explore the key to creating a better future for everyone, and to promote its ‘Vision 2035: Towards prosperity, creativity, equity, and democracy’.
“The decades-old relationship between the UAE and Vietnam is built on a strong foundation and has resulted in diverse cooperation ranging from the political, to the economic, to the cultural spheres. Through Vietnam’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai and beyond, we are keen to enhance our cooperation and explore new areas for further engagement between our two nations.”
Al Wasl Plaza will be transformed into a vibrant cultural stage for grand fashion show The Eternal Flow, which is set to feature more than 150 artists showcasing traditional dance performances and exciting circus acts. Three Vietnamese and international fashion designers will demonstrate the beauty of traditional brocade with one-of-a-kind collections.
The day’s celebrations will also include an immersive Vietnamese cultural experience, including bespoke projection show The Legend of Lac Long Quan & Au Co beamed across Al Wasl Plaza, telling the tale of a dragon and fairy couple, whose children had become the ancestors of Vietnamese people.
The first Vietnamese Film Week in the Middle East kicked off at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, will open this evening with the movie Dad, I’m Sorry. Running until 5 January, the week features screenings of seven internationally awarded Vietnamese movies at venues across Expo 2020, exploring Vietnam’s rapid economic development, its cultural identity and deeply ingrained values.
This afternoon, the Meet Vietnam: Land of Opportunities business forum will showcase the country’s investment potential and relations with the GCC, while also providing socio-economic insights.
Ta Quang Dong said: “We’ve had a US$6.5 billion trade turnover between Vietnam and the UAE, and this is a very promising number that we to see increase through future cooperation. Expo 2020 Dubai is a great opportunity to showcase that Vietnam is a strong destination for investment because we have some of the best infrastructure, and the government has adapted laws and policies on trading so that we can create a favourable environment for foreign investors.”
The Vietnam Pavilion is located in the Opportunity District, under the theme ‘Distilling the Past, Shaping the Future’. The pavilion creatively merges traditional Vietnamese elements with contemporary references, while offering a unique journey across the South East Asian country, and features everything from traditional folk art to cutting-edge virtual-reality technology and delicious local cuisine. National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 are moments to celebrate each of Expo’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 invites 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.
Meanwhile, The Expo is going to be a grand event. The whole world will have now a reason to visit Dubai. The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.
In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.
World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.
From investment deals to climate goals, cross-border collaboration to multi-national festivals, the first three months of Expo 2020 Dubai have seen a plethora of link-ups between countries, organisations, and artists, showing that Expo is truly exemplifying its theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
In early October, Uganda signed business deals worth $650 million while in the first two weeks of Expo 2020, Malaysia generated more than $ 1.7 billion in agreements. In October, the Brazilian state of São Paulo announced $ 1.1 billion of new investment deals with the UAE and San Marino and Brazil signed a memorandum of understanding on tourism.