Cultural performances during Malaysia National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Showcasing its national achievements and key progress in economic, social, cultural, technology sectors, the Malaysia Pavilion celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday.

Leading the high-level delegation from Malaysia was Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Datuk Haji Ahmad Amzad Hashim, who was welcomed by Minister of State Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh.

The Malaysia Day celebration began in the morning at the Stage of Nations, where the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysia national flag) was raised and Negaraku (national anthem of Malaysia) was sang before dignitaries delivered their speeches.

Hasim said: “Expo 2020 Dubai, with the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, has unlocked many new and exciting market opportunities for Malaysia to enhance trade, investment and cultural exchanges.: Malaysia’s participation at the Expo is a momentous platform for the nation and we are proud to be part of this historic event, as together with the rest of the world we are curating the future in an inclusive and sustainable manner.”

Hashim, who delivered the speech on behalf of MOSTI Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Adham bin Baba, added: “Malaysia applauds the leadership and commitment of the UAE in bringing together our ‘world family’ on a global platform for inclusive multilateralism, under a common purpose to inspire real-life solutions for humanity’s greatest challenges.”

The Malaysia MOSTI deputy minister also congratulated the UAE “for successfully hosting the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region in spite of the COVID-19 challenges”.

Malaysia and UAE delegations during a tour of Leadership Pavilion at Expo Image Credit: Supplied

‘Energising sustainability’

The delegations then proceeded to tour Malaysia Pavilion and UAE Pavilion as part of the ceremony. Organisers said Malaysia Pavilion with its ‘Energising Sustainability’ theme “illustrates the country’s commitment to international collaborations, long-standing interest in global conversations, and to participate in dialogues on important topics including climate change and sustainability”.

They added: “Through our Net Zero Carbon Pavilion, Malaysia aims to convey its success stories in adopting a resilient, low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive framework to address climate change and sustainability that are firmly anchored on the principles of sustainability and planetary health.”

Economic hub

On the economic front, organisers noted that Expo “has provided Malaysia a unique opportunity to reinforce its position as the regional economic hub of Southeast Asia”.

Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob earlier said: “Malaysia has generated more than $8.03 billion (around Dh billion) potential trade and investment returns in the first eight weeks of participation at the Expo”.

This was achieved following the signing of 71 Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda of Cooperation and Letters of Intent, as well as 793 business indicators with several international companies.

Malaysia Pavilion has also welcomed over 500,000 visits since Expo opened in October 2021. Malaysia’s participation at Expo also strengthens the nation’s bilateral ties with the UAE as Malaysia’s largest trading partner and export destination among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Cultural performances

Later in the day, Malaysia presented its ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ cultural performances by Istana Budaya and the National Department for Culture and Arts Malaysia. The celebration concluded with a Malaysia Day reception dinner held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) with UAE government officials, Expo officials, foreign dignitaries, representatives from participating countries and country ambassadors in attendance.

Renowned Malaysian executive chefs Ahmad Kasdi Mohd Dahari and Rene Johari prepared a special menu for the night that featured the distinctive tastes of Malaysian delicacy.

The Malaysia Day celebrations will continue until Sunday with a Malaysia Truly Asia concert at Jubilee Park.

Malaysia’s participation in Expo is led by MOSTI with Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation as implementing agency.