Papua New Guinea secures spot in World Expo but urgent action needed


This year, the United Arab Emirates has provided economic support to small nations, including Papua New Guinea, to join the Expo 2020 Dubai. However, PNGs’ Expo Commissioner Joshua Kalinoe has issued an urgent call for support to ensure PNG’s pavilion is ready.

World Expo Dubai 2020

One of the three entre portals to the World Expo. Credit: Expo 2020 Dubai via Facebook

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics wasn’t the only four-yearly event postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Expo 2020 Dubai, which is organised by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), was postponed too. But, as many countries lift lockdowns and roll out their vaccination programs, the BIE has announced this year’s World Expo will take place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 22 in Dubai.

Over 25,000,000 people are expected to visit and over 180 countries, including PNG, will be part of the event. The Expo allows participating countries to showcase their culture, unique flora and fauna, technological advances, and key organisations and businesses.

PNG’s pavilion

Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe [left] presents PNG dark chocolate and coffee beans the Chief of International Participants, Dr Omar Shehadeh at a recent meeting in Dubai.

PNG has accepted the invitation from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, to take part in the Expo.

The United Arab Emirates will cover the cost of PNG’s Pavilion in Dubai and the Expo Organising Committee will pay for the container that will transport the pavilion from Port Moresby to Dubai and back.

Joshua Kalinoe, PNG’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, has been appointed as Expo Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner for the Expo is Jacinta Manua, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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‘PNG’s pavilion is in the sustainable thematic area of the Expo village and construction has been completed and interior is being worked on,’ explains the PNG Embassy in Belgium. The pavilion will showcase the country’s natural resources, culture and unique flora and fauna. It will also promote products from SMEs and the cottage industry, including artefacts, crafts, spices, coconut by-products and jewellery.

The Manufacturing Council of PNG is representing the private sector for the Expo and will have a space in the pavilion to organise events.

No time to waste

Kalinoe is appealing to all stakeholders to work collectively to ensure PNG’s pavilion in the Expo 2020 Dubai has all the artefacts it needs for display and sale.

‘I am appealing to all the stakeholders, including the Department of Treasury, to release immediately the funds approved by the NEC for mobilisation so that artefacts and crafts both for display and sale as samples from the SMEs and the cottage industry participants could be acquired.

‘We must get the container which is paid for by the Government of UAE filled with the materials by end of May. Otherwise, the container will depart empty and PNG will have an empty pavilion with no story to tell.’

The container must leave Port Moresby in mid-June.

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