Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Chile to use Expo 2020 Dubai platform to boost trade links with the Middle East

The South American nation's pavilion will focus on renewable energy, food production and entrepreneurship

Chile is hoping to bolster trade with the region during Expo 2020 Dubai.
Chile is hoping to bolster trade with the region during Expo 2020 Dubai.

Astronomy, food production, entrepreneurship, mining and renewable energy will be the central themes of the Chilean pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The South American country hopes its presence at the global spectacle will be a stepping stone to further trade in the region.

Chile’s entry is headed by Alvaro Saieh, the Chilean millionaire and economist who chairs CorpGroup, one of Chile's largest conglomerates. Forbes listed him as the fourth-richest person in Chile in 2018.

We are confident that Expo 2020 will deliver the stepping stone we need to develop further trade opportunities

Alvaro Saieh

"The priority for Chile at Expo 2020 will be to highlight the four pillars which embody our nation,” said Mr Saieh.

“We are a land of geographic extremes, with desert, mountains, glaciers and coastline. A country where contemporary coexists with tradition, through the heart and soul of the Chilean people.”

The pavilion will highlight Chile’s potential for solar energy, as well as its mining industry.

Chilean exports to the Middle East and North Africa increased by nearly a fifth in 2018 to $425 million (Dh1.5m). Among its top exports to the Middle East are walnuts, half of which are exported to Dubai. Mr Saieh said that Chile is now developing its halal food and beverage sector.

“Naturally, with 25 million visitors expected, we are confident that Expo 2020 will deliver the stepping stone we need to develop further trade opportunities throughout the region and further afield to South Asia,” Mr Saieh said.

The long pavilion and its dark, vaulted roof is inspired by the galpones, arched barns of the Chilean countryside. The 700-square-metre pavilion will appear as a vast shadow and sanctuary in the desert, said its architects.

Under its oak and steel roof, visitors will find a forest of 30 tall mirrors reflecting images relating to the Chilean environment and geography, food and identity.

Its design by architects Cecilia Puga, Paula Velasca and Smiljan Radic was selected from 24 proposals in a public competition last summer.

Updated: January 21, 2020 02:01 PM

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