UAE contributing $14 million to massive Pakistan pavilion for Expo 2020, says envoy
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: With $14 million funding support from the UAE, Pakistan’s Expo 2020 pavilion in Dubai will be fully operational in July with construction work underway at a very fast pace, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, Ghulam Dastgir, said.
“The government of Pakistan is partially funding it along with participation of private sector,” Dastgir said, and added the UAE government’s contribution would go toward the project’s total estimated construction cost of $21.4 million (Dh77 million).
“The construction of the Pakistani pavilion started in the last week of February for which the land was given free of cost by UAE government and work is underway at a very fast pace. It’s a big pavilion with close to 3,500 sq. meters of covered area. Its main structure will be complete in the next couple of months and it will be fully functional by July,” Dastgir told Arab News on the phone from Abu Dhabi.
In October 2018, Pakistan formally signed a participation contract with Expo 2020 authorities, with officials saying the pavilion would reveal the country’s culture, investment opportunities and tourism potential. Once complete, the pavilion will be retained by Pakistan after the event to showcase Pakistani culture, the ambassador said.
“Whenever I have interaction with UAE officials and leadership, they say they are looking forward to the big Pakistani participation in Expo 2020,” he said.
Set to run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the six-month long expo will be the largest ever staged in the Arab world with more than 190 countries participating and 25 million people expected to visit the exhibition.
The envoy said Pakistan’s ministry of commerce and Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) had been assigned to ensure Pakistan’s greatest participation during the expo-- a task on which they are working tirelessly alongside the mission in UAE.
“This expo will have digital display, so we are also producing high definition (HD) content to run on the screen for the six months. The ministry of commerce and TDAP is working on the production of the content. Pakistan has also appointed a Director General of Expo 2020 who is the focal person for all arrangements with the business community, expo authorities and others,” Dastgir said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said in December that valuable government properties would be sold for better utilization of funds on public welfare projects at the Dubai Expo 2020 in order to attract foreign investment, including that of expats.