China expects 2mn visitors at its Expo Pavilion


The Chinese Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to receive around two million visitors writes Binsal Abdulkader

The Chinese Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to receive around two million visitors, a top executive of the Chinese Business Council (CBC) in the UAE said, adding that the global event will also help “attract more overseas enterprises to the UAE and open new opportunities for Chinese businesses in the Emirates.”

“As the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) is actively innovating new forms of participation for Expo 2020 Dubai, we are hopeful that the total number of visitors to the China Pavilion to reach two million during the 6-month long event,” Wang Guihai, Chairman of the CBC, told WAM in a virtual interview on Monday.

China expects 2mn visitors at its Expo Pavilion

However, he clarified that this was the estimate before the pandemic – under the normal circumstances, and the actual number may wary, if the pandemic-induced travel restrictions and conditions come up in future.

Still, he stressed that, “The UAE has achieved impressive vaccination record, and with the improvement of the situation and further relaxation of travel restrictions, we expect more Chinese tourists to visit the Expo.”

Millions to visit Expo virtually

About the new forms of participation, Guihai explained that the China Pavilion is building a “China Pavilion on the Cloud”, which will allow millions of Chinese and foreign audiences to visit the pavilion virtually.

The official website of the Chinese Pavilion will also provide live online broadcasting services to attract more online and offline visitors, he added.

“The Expo 2020 Dubai will help attract more overseas enterprises to the UAE, provide broader opportunities for Chinese businesses in the Emirates, enhance our bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and seek greater progress in pushing the China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership forward to the new era,” affirmed CBC chairman.

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Themed “Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind – Innovation and Opportunity”, the China Pavilion will integrate the global focus on innovation and opportunity, communication and cooperation, development and sustainability; and showcase the latest achievements and culture of China in various fields, including Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), high-speed rail and related theme films,” he explained.

New trends: manufacturing and high-tech market

Talking about the new trends among Chinese businesses in the UAE, Guihai said many Chinese businesses have started production and manufacturing in the UAE whereas they were mainly into import and re-export in the past.

“The UAE government attaches great importance to developing its manufacturing industry and initiated ‘Make it in the Emirates,’ with a series of preferential policies, which have provided much convenience for Chinese enterprises to manufacture products in the UAE,” he pointed out.

In addition, the UAE’s well-developed infrastructure, continuous investment in the field of education and scientific research, and its unique geographical location also give advantages for manufacturing in the UAE, added chairman of the CBC that has been working to support the development of Chinese enterprises in the UAE for the past 17 years.

The 180-member council also reinforce the mutual coordination and cooperation between Chinese institutions and companies in the UAE, promote communication between local governments and the business community, and expand cooperation between the two countries, he said.

At present, Chinese enterprises have achieved sound development in oil and gas, new energy, infrastructure, communications, finance, and other fields in the UAE, and are actively exploring the emerging high-tech market in the Emirates, said Guihai, who is also President of CNPC Middle East. As a senior technical expert in oil and gas industry with 30 years’ experience, he has worked successively in CNPC’s Daqing Oilfield, CNPC’s Sudan projects and Iraq projects.

More than 5,000 Chinese enterprises are in the UAE and many of them are doing the business across the Gulf region, he said.

“The bilateral economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has developed rapidly and thus offering huge opportunities.”

Expo 2020 Dubai

UAE is China’s largest export, investment destination in Arab world

“The UAE continues to remain China’s largest export market and investment destination in the Arab world. The Chinese investments in the UAE are mainly in energy, steel, building materials, construction machinery, hardware and chemicals,” Guihai said.

Talking about the 50th anniversary of the UAE, he said, “the Emirates has made remarkable achievements, including a series of economic development miracles in the past 50 years.”

In recent years, the economic cooperation between China and UAE has become closer and the UAE has actively participated in the Belt and Road Initiative, the chairman pointed out.

The UAE-China cooperation in developing a digital currency will “effectively improve efficiency, reduce costs and risks of business activities between the two countries and serve as a catalyst for bilateral economic and trade exchanges.”

He was referring to the UAE Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) joining the m-CBDC (Multiple Central Bank Digital Currency) project in February this year, which aims to promote the application and development of CBDC-type digital currency in cross-border payment.

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