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Expo 2020 Dubai’s GCC Roadshow sets off in Oman
(5 March 2017)

 

A delegation from Expo 2020 Dubai has set out on a GCC Roadshow to discuss with business leaders in five countries how their companies can maximise opportunities from the first World Expo in the Arab world.

The roadshow began with a meeting in Muscat, Oman, with Omani officials, highlighting how Expo will offer wide-ranging opportunities for Omani businesses of all sizes. The trip to Oman marks the beginning of a wider GCC Roadshow for the Expo 2020 Dubai team, which will also visit Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

Manal AlBayat, Vice President of Business Development and Integration at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "Through our GCC Roadshow, we are calling on as many businesses from across the GCC as possible to be part of the journey and join us in delivering a truly exceptional World Expo."

The trip also included a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce attended by more than 100 senior representatives from large corporates and small and medium enterprises, SMEs, from a number of sectors, including construction, hospitality, food and beverages, steel, copper and local crafts.

Attendees were given an overview of plans for Expo 202 Dubai, as well as an update on progress to date. The meeting then focused on the specific opportunities available in the build-up of Expo, the six months of the event itself, and the legacy phase, which will see the site transformed into a thriving ecosystem for the industries that will shape the future of the regional economy.

The delegation also met representatives from Riyada, the Sultanate’s authority for SMEs, and the Artisans Authority, to discuss the specific opportunities that the Expo offers for small business owners, entrepreneurs and craftsmen, as well as the ongoing efforts that are being made to enhance their integration into Expo 2020 Dubai’s supply chain.

Highlighting Expo 2020 Dubai’s support for SMEs, Manal AlBayat said, "SMEs are a vital contributor to the regional economy, in terms of both GDP and employment. They are also agile and innovative and for these reasons we at Expo are committed to enhancing their integration into the Expo supply chain as much as possible.

"For example, we have put in place flexible commercial terms including 50 percent advanced payment for goods and materials and 25 percent for services to help mitigate potential risks and enable SMEs to bid competitively. In June 2016, we announced that 20 percent of direct and indirect spend for the Expo, representing AED5 billion in contracts, will be awarded to SMEs.

"We have also recently launched our Licensing and Merchandising Programme, which will see us look to develop 5,000 types of Expo-branded products, the first of which will be on sale before the end of this year. We are particularly looking to work with talented artisans on this programme, of which we know there are many in Oman. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase local crafts to an international audience."

To date, more than 13,000 vendors and suppliers from 121 countries are registered on the Expo 2020 Dubai e-Sourcing Portal, of which 66 percent are SMEs.

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