Fri | Apr 26, 2019

Jamaica to set up shop at World Expo 2020 in the UAE

Published:Friday | May 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Reem Al Hashemy

With its already massive appeal on the world stage, Jamaica's technological innovations and products will be on show at the World Expo in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to State Minister for Foreign Affairs Pearnel Charles Jr.

He made the announcement during last week's official visit of Reem Al Hashimi, minister o

f state for international cooperation for the United Arab Emirates and director of the expo in the UAE.

The World Expo will run from October 2020 to April 2021 and is the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. It is geared at facilitating a global dialogue and will bring to life the main theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating The Future". It is likely to pull millions of visitors.

"Jamaica is gearing up to participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai ... with the aim of ensuring that our participation redounds well for Brand Jamaica. We are especially anticipating the exposure to new technologies and innovations," Charles told The Gleaner yesterday. "Expo 2020 is indicative of the manner in which bilateral and international relations should be developed," he added.

In January, UAE Ambassador to Jamaica Baber Abdullah Saeed Almatroshi issued an invitation to the Jamaican Government to send a delegation to Expo Dubai 2020, noting then that it was important that the Government confirm its interest "as soon as possible".

Ministers Charles and Al Hashimi met at the Jamaican foreign affairs ministry in New Kingston, accompanied by officials from the Caribbean Maritime Institute, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, the Jamaica Tourist Board, and the Jamaican foreign affairs ministry.

Al Hashimi spoke of the UAE's status as an economic zone hub for the gulf region relative to Jamaica's strategic position in the Caribbean and its ambition to become the logistics hub in the region. In this regard, Dr Eric Deans, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, said that Jamaica has sought to emulate the UAE and Singapore in establishing economic zones.

Charles also noted that the UAE Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (CREF) was a critical cooperation tool and represented further opportunity to enhance relations between the UAE and the Caribbean. In response, Al Hashimi said that Jamaica's renewable energy proposal could be eligible for the next round of funding under the UAE-CREF.

The ministers also agreed that ongoing negotiations aimed at the conclusion of a double taxation agreement and a model agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, should be fast-tracked.