New Zealand can expect more than $300 million in returns as it showcases itself at the World Expo in Dubai, the country’s Commissioner-General to the expo says.
More than 190 countries are participating in the expo, which happens once every five years, in the United Arab Emirates.
It was scheduled to run in 2020, but was delayed because of Covid-19. It features three categories - mobility, opportunities, and sustainability - with New Zealand’s Pavilion exhibit within the latter.
Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand's Commissioner-General to Expo 2020, said it was the country’s chance to re-engage with the world and all its major trading partners while its border remained closed because of the pandemic.
“The Government's invested $62.3 million — that's a big number.
“But, the independent business case that was put to Cabinet before that decision was made showed that we would get a return in excess of $300 million,” Kimpton said.
Right at the centre of New Zealand's showcase are Māori, with iwi leaders invited to co-host the indigenous expo Te Aratini.
The event is taking place from Wednesday until November 19, and is the flagship event for Tolerance and Inclusivity Week at Expo 2020 and is the first indigenous festival of its kind at World Expos.
“Dubai has become a stopping place for the world. If you want to do business in Asia, Africa, this is the mid-point,” Iwi Chairs Forum spokesman Ngahiwi Tomoana said.
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will be at the expo on Wednesday to open Te Aratini.
She will also be holding a number of bilateral meetings, including with the Foreign Affairs Minister in Dubai.
Topics on her agenda will include strengthening New Zealand’s relationship with the Middle East.
Expo 2020 Dubai will run until March 31, 2022.