Green light for the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai
Preparation work for the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai can now begin following today’s approval of Switzerland’s participation in the event by the Council of States as second chamber. The budget has been set at CHF 14.84 million, about half of which will come from third-party funding. Given the economic and geopolitical significance of the host country and region, by participating Switzerland will create a valuable opportunity to showcase the country and its strengths in the areas of education, research, innovation, business and foreign policy.
The first world exhibition to be hosted by an Arab and Muslim country will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. Some 25 million visitors are expected, with 30% coming from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 70% from abroad, thus making this the first event of its kind to attract more international visitors than local attendees. Over 150 countries have already signed up to take part in the Expo, whose theme is 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'.
At its meeting today, the Council of States became the second chamber to approve Switzerland's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai along with a guarantee credit of CHF 14.84 million. Around half of this budget is to be financed by third-party funds. The Federal Council had previously decided on 13 April 2016 that Switzerland should take part in the event.
“We are delighted that the Federal Assembly’s decision means we can now move forward with the project chosen in January 2017. This world exhibition provides an ideal platform for showcasing Switzerland’s strengths and qualities, and for positioning it within the host country and throughout the region as somewhere that is proud of its traditions but at the same time highly innovative,” states Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland.
The next step will see planning work get under way for the 'Belles Vues' project designed by Zurich-based architects OOS in collaboration with Bellprat Partner and Lorenz Eugster, with the aim of launching tendering procedures in summer 2018 for a general contractor and for the running of the restaurant. Switzerland is making a bold architectural statement with 'Belles Vues': referencing the temporary structures of Bedouin tents, the Swiss Pavilion will be a sustainable construction made of scaffolding elements and textiles. The concept invites visitors to wander: as they pass through the pavilion, they learn more about Switzerland and its responses to the challenges of tomorrow. The messages conveyed by the Pavilion will focus on the values that Switzerland stands for, especially in relation to peace promotion, its good offices and development cooperation. The global innovations that emanate from Switzerland will also feature prominently.
In addition, the Pavilion will host a number of temporary exhibitions that turn the spotlight on Swiss innovation and the products and services of private-sector partners. The Expo is an important platform, enabling Swiss companies of all sizes and the Swiss tourism sector to promote the country’s economic capacity and attractiveness as a tourist destination to the UAE, which is Switzerland’s foremost trading partner in the Middle East. The Swiss Pavilion will also give Switzerland’s cities and cantons the opportunity to present themselves to a wider audience. The search for interested partners is currently under way.