EXPO 2020. Presentation of business and investment opportunities

№ 1, 2022
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THE WORLD EXPO IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT INTERNATIONAL EVENT IN THE EXHIBITION BUSINESS. THIS IS NOT ONLY THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF THE LATEST SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES BUT ALSO THE SYNERGY OF HISTORY, TRADITIONS AND CULTURE ALL OVER THE WORLD. BESIDES, THE EXPO EVENTFUL BUSINESS PROGRAM IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY AND USE THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS TO DEVELOP NEW TECHNOLOGIES.

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The history of World Expos dates back to 1851. That was the year of the first world exhibition, "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations", held in London, which became a significant milestone in the history of the industrial revolution. In 1855, France took the initiative to host the World EXPO.

Since then, there have been another 50 Expos across the globe, including 27 in Europe, 13 in North America, eight in Asia, and two in Australia.

Originally, World Expos served as a platform for demonstrating industrial achievements of countries, where the latest technologies were presented, such as sewing machine ­(London, 1862), telephone ­(Philadelphia, 1876) and the first ­escalator ­(Paris, 1900). The spectacular architecture of exhibition pavilions and special facilities played a significant role in the popularization of EXPO. Through World ­Expos the world saw the Crystal ­Palace in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

World Expos have changed their focus over time. The organizers began to pay attention not only to advances in technology but also to global issues facing humanity. To make an example, EXPO 2000 in Hanover focused on the theme "Humanity, Nature and Techno­logy", and EXPO 2010 in Shanghai was focused on the topic "Better City, Better Life".

Besides, world exhibitions have not only become a symbol of industrialization, but also the largest international forum for communication among all countries.

The latest edition of the World EXPO is hosted by Dubai, UAE. The event was scheduled for 2020, but the pandemic changed the organizers' plans, making them postpone the exhibition until 2021. EXPO 2020 is the first global exhibition in the MENA & SA region ­(Middle East, North Africa and South Asia). For 182 days, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, 192 participating countries demonstrate innovations and technologies, share ideas, establish and develop cooperation – following the main theme of the exhibition "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".

The theme of the Belarus Pavilion at EXPO 2020 is "Forest of Future Technologies". The concept is based on three "I's" – "Innovations. Investments. Individual". It is designed to fully unleash the investment and innovation potential of Belarus. Millions of visitors from all over the world have the opportunity to get acquainted with the tourist potential of Belarus, assess its national identity, historical and cultural heritage, sports achievements, handicrafts, cuisine, traditions, etc.

In addition, the pavilion business program is rich: National Days of the ­Republic of Belarus and particular regions, forums, negotiations, presentations. The events are aimed to provide businesses with an opportunity to find new markets, strategic partners and attract investment in high-tech and knowledge-intensive industries of the domestic economy.

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On November 22, the Belarus ­Investment Forum, where the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus ­Roman Golovchenko took part, was held as part of the National Day of the Republic of Belarus at EXPO 2020.

The Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Chervyakov, Minister of State of the UAE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of Minsk City Executive Committee Vladimir Kukharev, representatives of funds, financial institutions, investors, investment and business development experts and entrepreneurs of Belarus and the UAE took part in the plenary part of the forum moderated by the Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich.

Possibilities of expanding Belarusian-Emirati investment cooperation and prospective joint projects in certain sectors of the economy were con­sidered during the forum. Existing conditions and resources for investing in Belarus, the measures taken at the state level to foster business and investment activity, the advantages of doing business under special legal regimes and examples of successful investment cooperation between the business communities of Belarus and the UAE were presented to the heads of investment funds, organizations and large companies of the UAE.

Following the plenary part, the Belarus Investment Forum was continued in the format of parallel sessions on certain areas of cooperation. Bilate­ral meetings and B2B negotiations between the representatives of Belarusian businesses and the representatives of the enterprises from the UAE, Saudi ­Arabia and Syria were orga­nised by the ­BelCCI, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and ­Industry and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The negotiations proved quite effective.

Thus, this significant business event at the EXPO platform contributed to the development of scientific, economic and political dialogue with the UAE, Belarus' partner countries in the ­Middle East region, and other states. The presentation of the economic potential of our country, the most promising projects, innovative deve­lopments and technologies in various fields served to further build the positive image of Belarus in the international arena.