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India celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai with cultural celebrations and support from a large, cheering crowd for the official ceremony in Al Wasl, with one of the country’s top government ministers looking to the future with optimism.
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, welcomed Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Republic of India.
Sheikh Nahayan said, “We are pleased to conclude our National Day ceremonies on a high-note, with the celebration of the National Day of the Republic of India. The Indian Pavilion demonstrates the country’s advanced technological breakthroughs in innovation, space exploration, smart cities and artificial intelligence, while also highlighting India’s leadership across various fields.
“The UAE is proud to share long-standing bilateral ties with India, and we remain keen to further diversify our means of cooperation at the government and private-sector levels across various areas of mutual interest to our countries.”
Goyal spoke of his excitement for the next 25 years, as India prepares itself for a century of independence, “We wish to see every child having a good, bright future ahead of him. We need to see the world’s best quality healthcare, education and opportunities for our boys and girls.
“Last week, we created history. For the first time we were able to export goods worth over US$400 billion (AED1,470 bn) in one year. Our services exports are also growing by leaps and bounds and we hope to cross $250 billion [AED918.25 bn] in this current year, I believe we are now at the cusp of growth and development in the years to come, an opportunity that businesses and investors from the UAE will not lose. I’m sure with the cost and trust advantage that India offers, this is the time to be in India, this is the time to invest in India. As partners, we can secure each other’s economic future and strengthen our partnership in the post-COVID world.”
The speeches were followed by a performance from Kavita Krishnamurthy, an Indian playback and classical singer who has recorded more than 50,000 songs in dozens of languages. She was supported by backing musicians and dressed in a colourful sari, with her melodious voice giving life to a selection of classical songs.
She was followed by an impressive set from violinist Dr. L Subramaniam. The musician, who is also a composer and conductor, has worked with everyone from Yehudi Menuhin to George Harrison.
The India Pavilion proudly displays the country’s art, culture, literature, cinema and cuisine from its 36 states and union territories. Visitors to the impressive four-storey pavilion in Al Forsan are treated to a mix of Ayurveda, yoga and information on the country’s space programme and fast-growing economy. They can also enjoy a 360-degree digital recreation of India’s past, present and future, plus try the nation’s cuisine and watch daily cultural shows.
The Brazil pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has reached the highly coveted milestone of welcoming over two million visitors. The traffic to the pavilion, along with the attention it has received from investors, signals massive opportunities opening up for the South American country’s businesses at the global event.
Built at an investment of $20 million in the Sustainability District, the 4,000 Sq. m pavilion brought a unique blend of innovative architecture and immersive technology to evoke a rich experience of the Amazon rain forest in Dubai. By day, the pavilion has been a serene recreation of the Brazilian lifestyle with a shallow water blade occupying across half of its area, but at night, it lighted up and gave the whole Expo a light show spectacle.
ApexBrasil, the agency that organised Brazilian participation at Expo, has also used its time at the mega event to progress its existing bilateral trade ties with the UAE and countries from the Middle East and beyond.
A three-member Indian family residing in UAE marked the two million visitor record at the pavilion. The family joined the celebration with the pavilion commissioner general, director and staff members.
Commenting on this record number of visitors, Elias Martins Filho, Commissioner-General of Brazil at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We are extremely proud to host two million visitors at the Expo 2020 as it is coming to an end after a six-month-long display of cooperation, innovation, and cultural exchange. We have been confident that all the hard work that we put into our innovative and immersive pavilion would pay off and are happy to say that it did.”
“This figure of two million visitors represents the resounding success of our pavilion and we are optimistic that we can take this momentum forward into the future as we continue to work with the UAE and all other countries that participated in the Dubai Expo,” he added.
Raphael Nascimento, Brazil Pavilion Director at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We are proud of everything that we have accomplished. We created various opportunities at the Expo and in Dubai for attracting investment throughout the event. Besides being an Expo mainstay for visitors looking for leisure, the pavilion has seen steady traffic of trade visitors opening up new trade and investment partnership opportunities for Brazil.”
“The outcome that Brazil achieved with the Expo participation will help the nation to expand its presence in other global markets. The Expo helped us strengthen our relations with other Gulf countries, thus confirming the high reliability of our products and the commitment of our productive sector to quality, health and sustainability,” he added.
“It’s a great surprise for us being the visitors marking this milestone record at a major pavilion of the Expo 2020,” said Sudha Toshniwal, who was honoured along with her husband Sharad Lahoti and 3-year-old daughter Saiesha.
“Welcoming two million visits is a testament for the outstanding concept of the pavilion featuring the blade of water across the pavilion floor depicting the Amazon River. We are extremely happy to be part of this celebration as well. We are also happy to receive a goodie bag with some valuable gifts from the pavilion,” she quipped.
According to Nascimento, the success that Brazil has found at the Expo signals that the country is meeting its investment, tourism and innovation potential on a global stage. “It has been a hectic time for us with the mix of business and leisure visitors attracted to what we have laid out at the pavilion. From what we could gauge from visitor responses, the experience they had at our pavilion has been unique and stunning.”
In keeping with the sustainability theme, Brazil has also been collaborating with its neighbour Paraguay at the Expo to promote its solutions for clean and renewable energy.
Itaipu Binational, the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power plant located on the Brazil Paraguay border, and a global leader in green energy showcased its tried-and-true water conservation practices at the pavilion. Through an interactive and immersive virtual reality technology, visitors at the Brazil pavilion were shown the richness of Brazil’s ecosystems and taught visitors about environmental conservation and water care.
The pavilion also had the privilege of hosting New7Wonders, the organization that conducts the voting campaign to determine the new seven wonders of the world and nature every year. After an arduous voting process with 600 million voters, Brazil has been bestowed the honour of being home to three world wonders – Iguacu Waterfalls, the Amazon rainforest and the Christ Redeemer.
ApexBrasil also organised the Agritalks that served strengthening the agribusiness between Brazil and the UAE. Coinciding with the Expo, Brazil became one of the most prolific countries at Gulfood this year with over 114 companies participating.