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Expo 2020 Dubai kicks off search for Aotearoa-based businesses to showcase their innovations

It’s not always easy to get your innovations seen by a global audience, at least usually not without spending copious amounts of money and having copious amounts of good luck on your side.

The folks putting together New Zealand’s pavilion at the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai know this, too – which is one reason why they’re looking for businesses to help showcase the best of New Zealand brands and products to a global audience at an event that is expected to be attended by millions.

“What a country presents at a World Expo shapes its reputation globally,” says Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020. “This is an opportunity to be part of an historic moment for New Zealand business and design, one that’s going to be seen and experienced by millions of people.”

Aotearoa’s official theme for Expo 2020 is “Care for People and Place.” The New Zealand Pavilion features an exhibition experience, hosting facilities, restaurant and a design store. During peak times, it is expected to attract up to 30,000 visitors a day.

Adds Kimpton: “We’re seeking products for the interior fit-out of our Pavilion and its restaurant and hospitality spaces – that includes kitchen and bathroom fittings; furniture and lighting; clothing and consumables. We’re also looking for premium food and beverage products to serve in the Pavilion restaurant, so we can give visitors a complete New Zealand experience.”

New Zealand’s pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s Sustainability District. Earlier this year, it was announced the 2,000-square-metre pavilion will be designed by a team led by Jasmax. It will feature an exhibition space, restaurant, design store and hosting facilities.

The pavilion is inspired by waka taonga, made by M?ori to safeguard items of value. The carved containers, which included waka huia and papahou, were gifted to strengthen relationships, create new partnerships and maintain traditions and stories from one generation to the next. The architectural concept uses the waka taonga as a way of bringing people together – which connects with the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” at Expo 2020. 

More than 180 countries are expected to take part in Expo 2020, which will officially kick-off in October 2020 southwest of Dubai’s city centre. The expo is set to run until April 2021, with more than 25 million visitors are expected.

Fast facts – Expo 2020 Dubai

– Theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
– Countries will be grouped in three districts: mobility, opportunity, sustainability.
– 180 participating nations.
– 25 million visitors expected to attend, with 70 percent from outside the UAE.
– The site is 438 hectares in size, located south-southwest from Dubai’s city centre.
– The UAE is New Zealand’s 10th-largest trading partner.
– Expo 2020 opens October 20, 2020 and runs until April 21, 2021.
– More than 30,000 volunteers are being recruited specifically for Expo 2020.

Fast facts – the New Zealand pavilion 

– Designed by a consortium including architects Jasmax, with Mott MacDonald (engineering) and Special Group (creative storytelling).
– The concept design is around 2,000 square metres, and features an exhibition space, restaurant, design store and hosting facilities
– The last World Expo New Zealand attended was Shanghai, China in 2010, in which 316 New Zealand companies were involved and more than 9,000 people attended functions at the New Zealand pavilion.

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