What are you most looking forward to achieving through EXPO 2020 and what should visitors look forward to in particular?
We truly believe in the great theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The time is now. Expo2020 will send a strong signal that we must join hands and work together in solidarity to preserve this one beautiful planet that we share. That is really what should be achieved. Expo is not about showing off or selling something. We want an experience of learning and pleasure that supports a global sense of community, responsibility and purpose. When visiting Campus Germany, the German National Pavilion, please bring your kids and some tissues. Look forward to having fun and at the end crying a little bit for joy and emotion. You are also invited to Baden-Wuerttemberg House to learn more about the beauty and innovation of Germany’s regions.
How would you describe bilateral ties between Germany and the UAE and what areas are you looking to strengthen?
Our ties are great. We consult closely on foreign policy, we have vibrant economic ties and our cultural links are productive. We have big potential to deepen them, as we move forward together. International challenges are growing and we need to join hands to meet them. On business, in the future, we should develop products and services for the sustainable, knowledge based economy together: renewable CO2-free energies, smart factories, new frontiers in health care, aerospace to mention just some. We could also do a lot more in culture. There is an appetite to connect our people, especially amongst the youth. Let’s get them to collaborate on training and education as well as tolerance and global harmony.
How do you think Germans can use their expertise in areas such as engineering to help the UAE achieve its ambitious goals?
Made in Germany is recognised universally as a mark of excellence. As we connect our economies even more closely we have the opportunity of matching Make it in the Emirates with Made in Germany. There is a great complimentary relationship between the UAE’s strategy for The Next 50 and what German companies have to offer. We just concluded a bilateral German-Emirati Taskforce on the 4th Industrial Revolution in which over 100 companies from both countries participated. They identified 64 projects that can bring investment and innovation. We’re talking here about really new things that will move us into the sustainable knowledge-driven economy together.
What message do you have for German expatriates in the UAE ahead of your reunification anniversary?
Warm greetings to all the Germans in the UAE and all best wishes on the Day of German Unity. We just had our federal elections and the result shows that we live in a stable democracy and prosperous country that meets its responsibility at home and in the world. Our Emirati friends can count on us as friends and partners. I thank all of you for the contribution you make to German-Emirati friendship.