Canada confirmed its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday, with the aim to explore trade opportunities and access new markets during the next World Expo platform.

The G7 nation’s participation was sealed during two separate high-level meetings between Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Mohammad Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Dubai Ruler’s Court, held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

Al Gergawi welcomed the public confirmation of participation in Expo 2020 Dubai by Canada, one of 190 nations that have committed to taking part.

Expo 2020 Dubai will mark Canada’s first participation in a World Expo since Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

“It is welcome news that Canada is rejoining the Expo movement to participate at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are looking forward to leveraging the Expo platform to continue to build on investment ties with Canada, Canadian companies and the Canadian community here who call the UAE their home,” Al Shaibani said.

Expo 2020 will be the World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region

“With the eyes of the world on Dubai, our presence at Expo 2020 affirms the vitality of Canada-UAE relations, while showcasing the best Canada has to offer,” Carr said. “We only need to look at the lasting effects that hosting two world fairs has had on the fabric of our own nation to understand the potential this represents for Canada and for Canadians.”

Canada will also be able to further promote its trade diversification strategy through the next World Expo, which will see the Canadian government invest $1.1 billion over the next six years to develop infrastructure that will boost international trade and open up opportunities for local exporters in new markets.

Canada and the UAE already enjoy strong bilateral relations and Expo 2020 Dubai will offer a unique opportunity to boost them further. The UAE is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with merchandise exports valued at $1.6 billion in 2017.

Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visits between October 20, 2020 and April 10, 2021, and 70 per cent of its visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE.