Zhang Wei (second from left), commissioner-general of the China Pavilion and vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), shakes hands with Najeeb Mohammad Al Ali, executive director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau (right) after signing an MoU in the presence of Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau and Ni Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UAE (left) at the Expo 2020 site on Tuesday. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: China said it will be showcasing its latest technology as well as its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative at its pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, as the country confirmed its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Dr. Zhang Wei, Commissioner General of the China Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, on Tuesday signed a contract with the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, confirming that China will take part in the event.

At a signing ceremony, Ni Jian, China’s ambassador to the UAE, said construction on the Chinese pavilion will start in the next months.

Asked about the value of China’s investment in the pavilion, he said he was unsure but it may be “over $100 million [Dh367.3 million]”.

“We will show the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative to show different technologies in new China. The UAE is a very important country on the route of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative,” the ambassador said.

“The relationship between China and the UAE is fantastic... Now we have comprehensive cooperation in different fields — economy, politics, culture, education — and I think the Dubai Expo will strengthen relations between China and the UAE.”

Bilateral trade between the UAE and China reached $41 billion (Dh150.59 billion) in 2017, the ambassador said, with projections for that to increase by around 5 per cent year-on-year.

Also speaking at the signing was Najeeb Al Ali, executive director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, who said that construction at the Expo site is well underway.

“We have started the construction of all the major infrastructure within the Expo 2020 [site], and we are today well underway as per the plan we set,” Al Ali said.

“Our ultimate plan is to have the major infrastructure finalised by October 2019, which is one year before the official opening of Expo 2020.”

He added that construction activities are expected to ramp up in the next two quarters of 2018.

Last week Luxembourg became the first foreign nation to break ground for its pavilion at the Expo site. Construction on the metro link to the Expo site has also started.

So far, over 170 countries have confirmed their participation at the Expo, with the Bureau anticipating over 180 countries to take part at the event that kicks off in October 2020.