By William Kumwembe:
With about 18 months before the 2020 Dubia Expo, Malawi has set an ambitious target of generating over $500 million (about K370 billion) of export orders.
The World Expo 2020 would be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, between October 20 2020 and April 10 2021.
The Expo site, which will cover a total of 438 hectares, is located in Dubai South District, near the Al Maktoum International Airport.
Expo 2020 Dubai is being organised under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The theme has been split into three subthemes; Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity.
Malawi will participate in the Expo under the sub-theme ‘Opportunity’ and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism is spearheading preparations, while Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) is coordinating the day-to-day organisation.
Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Trade, Ken Ndala, said the government hoped to attract higher level of foreign direct investment at the expo.
“Using Conservative estimates, Malawi can attract three times the current levels of annual FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] pledges, currently averaging $800 million per year,” Ndala said.
Ndala said the government would use the forum raise awareness about Malawi’s tourism sector.
Currently, tourists’ numbers are growing at 5 percent per year.
“We expect to double that rate after Dubai Expo 2020,” Ndala said.
Other benefits, according to Ndala, would include job creation and diversification of the economy.
MITC Chief Executive Officer, Clement Kumbemba, said the forum would also accord local entrepreneurs a chance to network.
“The expo is primarily [meant] to showcase innovations. At the Expo, we will be showcasing our innovations and we are linking up with stakeholders that we should use the platform to find investors who can partner Malawi,” Kumbemba said.
Meanwhile, a team of four Polytechnic students has won $4,000 for designing a pavilion that Malawi would use at the Dubai Expo.
Under the Dubai Expo2020 Creative Youth Programme, organisers asked university students to come up with design of their countries’ pavilions.