DUBAI: Germany has pledged to spend €50 million (Dh226 million) to build and run one of the largest national pavilions at Dubai Expo 2020 after signing its participation contract on Wednesday.
Under rules laid down by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the World Expo governing body, self-built national pavilions must be handed back as bare plots, and do not form part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy plans.
Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General for the German Pavilion, said at a press conference that the funds for the 4,500 square metre pavilion, to be located in Expo’s Sustainability district, had been allocated by the German federal government, without private sponsorship.
Sebastian Rosito, Director of the German Pavilion, said German authorities had shortlisted five contractors tendering for the contract to build the pavilion, and a decision on the winner would be announced on June 22, with construction due to start early in 2019.
Details of the pavilion’s appearance and contents would be unveiled in September this year, he added, but did reveal that it would include a conference centre to allow business events, and a restaurant for up to 250 people.
The German delegation expected around 3 million visitors to the pavilion, he said, based on expected visitor numbers at Expo 2020 and past Expo experience.
Schmitz said in an interview with Gulf News that Germany regarded its spending on the Expo as an investment, but had no expectations of making a direct return on it.
“With the marketing for Germany overall, we are looking at ‘Made in Germany’, that this reputation Germany has all over the world will continue. We are only a small stone in a lot of process in which Germany is going out into the world. We are looking 30 or 20 years ahead.
“When we show technologies in the German pavilion, sometimes they are already in a stage where you can use it, sometimes it’s only ideas. Once these ideas develop to a success for companies, for scientific institutes or whatever, this is something which we want to reach.
“We are looking to the future. We want to interest people now and if such exhibits or processes which we show in the pavilion will be a reality in 15 or 20 years, this is why we invest money now, and we don’t want to get it back tomorrow.”
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “The UAE and Germany share a vision of a cleaner, more sustainable future — something that is a key focus of Expo 2020 Dubai — and we are delighted that our close friends have become the latest nation to sign an official participation contract.”