Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Philippines' Duterte set to attend Expo 2020 Dubai launch

The visit would mark the Philippines president's first trip to the UAE as premier

A trip to the Expo launch would mark Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first visit since being elected in 2016. Getty
A trip to the Expo launch would mark Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first visit since being elected in 2016. Getty

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte plans to attend the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai, a senior aide said.

The premier intends to visit the Emirates for the opening in October next year.

“The president is going there,” said Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman.

He was speaking to Filipino media at the launch of the countdown leading to the 2020 Dubai Expo in Makati City.

The country's pavilion design will resemble that of a 'Bangkóta', which is old Tagalog word for coral reef, the Manila Bulletin reported.

UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Hamad Saeed Al Zaabi thanked President Duterte and the Philippines government for showcasing a “special design” for its pavilion.

“I am also very delighted to extend our thanks to your good and friendly country the Philippines, for the continuous support," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"And be among the participant countries in Expo 2020 with very special pavilion design that made everyone so excited to see how Filipinos can highlight their profound cultural perspectives to the people around the world."

He paid tribute to the thousands of overseas Filipino workers who contribute to the UAE.

“My country is hosting close to one million Filipinos... they are working in different professions such as engineering, medical field, services sector, and so on," he said.

"This is a strong proof on how the relationship between our two countries has reached in terms of employment, trade, civil aviation, and people to people, as well."

The Bangkóta design is intended to "draw visitors to the Philippine Pavilion into defined, free-flowing, open spaces, reflecting how Filipino culture embraces openness, meaningful encounters, and are connected around the world by travel, migration, and technology,” according to the description on the 2020 Expo website.

Updated: November 25, 2019 05:25 PM

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