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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

After skipping Milan expo, Australia will look for new opportunities at Expo 2020

Australia is expecting more than 2 million visitors to its national pavilion

Justin McGowan, Australia's commissioner general for Expo 2020 Dubai, says Australian pavilion will offer an immersive experience to visitors. Pawan Singh / The National
Justin McGowan, Australia's commissioner general for Expo 2020 Dubai, says Australian pavilion will offer an immersive experience to visitors. Pawan Singh / The National

After giving a miss to Expo 2015 in Milan, Australia is aiming to attract over 2 million visitors to its national pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai while making use of the UAE’s strategic location to facilitate new business partners in the region and across the globe.

“With nearly 190 nations participating, this expo provides unprecedented global reach and presents a unique opportunity to collaborate with other nations and connect directly with citizens from around the world,” Justin McGowan, Australian commissioner general for Expo 2020 Dubai, told The National.

Besides building on existing relationships, Australia will focus on establishing new trade connections and working with other unexplored nations to promote opportunities and mutually beneficial trade and commerce, Mr McGowan said.

The Australian government did not participate in Milan Expo in 2015 due to budget constraints.

Currently, the UAE is the largest trading partner to Australia in the Middle East, with two-way trade valued at Dh20 billion. About 20,000 Australians reside in the Emirates, which is also home to around 300 Australian companies.

The Aussie pavilion, which will showcase Australian innovation and technological expertise, will be spread over a 3,500 square metre site.

“Our striking pavilion will cover an area of almost 2,500 square metres and rise to a height of 21 metres. It will reflect the welcoming Australian spirit, and our diversity, creativity and inventiveness,” said Mr McGowan, who did not disclose the budget earmarked for this project.

The six-month global exposition, starting on October 20, 2020, has three themes – opportunity, mobility and sustainability – that align with those of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for a better global future adopted in 2015 and intended to be realised by 2030.

Some of the capabilities that will be on display by Australia during the expo include innovations in relation to agriculture, health, technology, education, financial services, energy, resources and sport.

“We will focus on the role of technology in human development. The Australian pavilion will provide a platform for mobilising ideas,” said Mr McGowan, adding, “We will inspire visitors through an immersive digital experience coupled with vibrant demonstrations of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and robotics in action.”

During the Shanghai expo in 2010, the Australian pavilion attracted over 8 million visitors, but Mr McGowan said that the Dubai expo, with its global visitor profile, offered something very unique.

“Our main goal is to ensure visitors leave with a lasting impression of Australia as a great place to invest and do business.”

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Australia will also look to transition its pavilion infrastructure in an eco-conscious way once the expo is over.

“Sustainability is important to Australia … we will definitely be looking to reuse, recycle and repurpose our pavilion’s infrastructure as much as possible.”

Updated: January 17, 2019 08:24 AM

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