The Government will spend $53 million showcasing New Zealand at Expo 2020 in Dubai in an attempt to boost trade in the region and beyond.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges made the announcement in Dubai today.
“It’s a unique and dynamic part of the world. For us this a relatively big play,” Bridges told the Herald.
International Expos trace their origins back to the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace, London in 1851. Countries show off their goods and services, usually in distinctive and elaborate pavilions designed to stand out from others.
When Dubai bid for Expo 2020, its rulers said they would spend more than $10b on a 2 sq km site that will contain three thematic areas: opportunity, sustainability and mobility.
New Zealand has been invited to participate in the sustainability precinct.
Bridges said the United Arab Emirates – which Dubai is a part of – had been one of the fastest growing markets of the past decade and the New Zealand display will be the first at an international Expo for 10 years.
New Zealand budgeted $30 million for the 2010 Expo in Shanghai.
While trade runs heavily in US favour, Bridges said the New Zealand pavilion would allow Kiwi businesses to highlight their innovative products and services and open doors to new export markets.
New Zealand is close to completing a free trade agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.