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Slovenia confirms participation in Expo 2020 Dubai
(23 September 2016)


The Republic of Slovenia signed the letter of intent, confirming its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai, at a meeting between Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Zdravko Pocivalsek, Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology.

The meeting was held at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of the bilateral co-operation between the UAE and Slovenia in key economic sectors including innovation, tourism, sustainability, transport, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Welcoming Slovenia’s participation in the exhibition, Al Mansouri said, "Slovenia enjoys long-standing ties and increasingly strong economic relations with the UAE, and we are delighted that it has confirmed its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, four years ahead of the mega-event. We look forward to Slovenia’s participation as the UAE hosts the region’s first mega event, which will bring nations together to build a better future, and a lasting legacy, for the region and the world."

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "Today’s announcement with Slovenia demonstrates the power of the expo to form new connections for the future. We are building a festival of human ingenuity that brings millions of visitors and 200 countries, companies and NGOs together. I am delighted that Slovenia has confirmed its participation so early in the process. We look forward to working closely with Ljubljana throughout the journey to the expo, collaborating on a great global showcase and forging a lasting economic legacy of closer co-operation."

Affirming his country’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with the UAE and its people, Pocivalsek, said, "Today’s meeting sets the foundation for our cooperation over the next four years."

"Signing this letter of intent is an important step. Slovenia has a strong focus on sustainable development, particularly in the tourism sector. At the Expo Milano 2015, we presented Slovenia as green-friendly and we will build on this in Dubai in 2020," he added.

Minister Pocivalsek, went on to compliment the expo’s early preparations for participant nations, saying, "We admire and acknowledge the impressive organisational efforts and preparations which have been put in place very early for the expo."

As one of the earliest nations to sign up to participate in the expo, Slovenia will now begin the process of designing its national pavilion for the mega event, which is expected to attract 25 million visitors. Construction of participants’’ pavilions will begin in the second quarter of 2018. Earlier this month, at City Scape, the expo officials announced that early works were complete after 4.6 million cubic metres of earth had been recycled, and that infrastructure work on the site would commence shortly.

The expo is forecast to have a significant beneficial impact on the UAE economy, generating more than 17 billion euros in gross value added, and supporting over 250,000 jobs. It was recently announced that 20 percent of the expo’s budget – comprising AED5 billion – will be allocated to SMEs as part of existing efforts to enhance this sector’s integration into the exposition supply chain, boosting the economic impact of the mega-event for the wider business community.

The partnership represents the latest milestone in the relationship between the UAE and Slovenia. In 2015, The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Slovenian government signed an air service agreement, which consists of 24 articles and two annexes, enables the two countries to exercise the fifth freedom rights and specifies the general legal framework for cooperation between the two countries.

In 2013, the UAE had signed avoidance of double taxation accord. The agreement aims to strengthen mutual economic and trade relations and to develop investments between the two countries. In 2014, a town twining agreement between Fujairah City and the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, was signed to promote bilateral ties of friendship in various areas, including economy, culture, education, tourism, arts and sports. It also provides for co-operation in scientific research and cultural exchanges. 

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