The Committee for Sweden’s participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai closes its activities

Vice Chair of the Committee Yvonne Gustafsson, State Secretary Krister Nilsson, Chair of the Committee Karl-Henrik Sundström and Commissioner General Jan Thesleff. Photo: Ninni Andersson 

The Committee for Sweden’s participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai presents its final report to the Swedish Government and closes its activities

The Committee for Sweden’s participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai, tasked with preparing and carrying out the Swedish engagement at the World Exposition, has presented its final report to the Swedish government. The report details an intensive journey, that started in January 2018 and has spanned over 4.5 years, as well as the Committee’s main takeaways from this engagement. Despite a global pandemic, the Swedish pavilion welcomed more than one million visitors during the six-month-long World Exposition, engaging Swedish 149 companies and organizations.

On 26 August, the Committee’s final report was presented to the government and received by State Secretary Krister Nilsson. The final report is written in Swedish with an executive summary in English. It is available for download on the government’s website. On 1 September the Committee and the Secretariat are dissolved after completing their mission.

I am proud of how the government and the private sector have joined hands to make the most out of our joint engagement. Together, we highlighted Sweden and Swedish companies’ world-leading innovative solutions and systems. This has strengthened the Swedish position on the global arena, says the Committee’s chairman Karl-Henrik Sundström.

The theme for our participation at Expo 2020 has been “Co-creation for Innovation”. With the co-creative spirit as a base, the Committee has demonstrated the synergies that arise when people meet, share knowledge and collaborate across borders. Sustainable solutions are borne out of collaboration and experience sharing.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges and insecurities, but nevertheless, Expo 2020 attracted in access of 24 million visitors and the Swedish pavilion welcomed more than one million visitors from all over the world to its public exhibition. Over 6,000 invited guests visited the Swedish conference section, including royalties, ministers, CEOs and representatives from government, academia, civil society and from the private sector. Thanks to the close cooperation with five government agencies and government-supported organizations, as well as the Embassy of Sweden in Abu Dhabi and Business Sweden’s office in Dubai, the Committee has been able to carry out active promotional activities with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa region both before and during the Expo period.

The fact that we managed to make Expo 2020 a destination, physically and virtually, and create a vibrant meeting platform for new and sustainable concepts despite adverse circumstance, including the pandemic, shows the strength of Swedish business and its partnership with government and academia, says Commissioner General Jan Thesleff.

The Swedish participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai has been the largest Swedish export and investment promotion engagement to date. The Committee’s mission was to strengthen Sweden’s image, to promote Sweden and its innovative private sector and to enable conditions for different stakeholders to create and further develop relationships that would benefit their own businesses. The Committee can conclude that the goals set for the Swedish Expo participation have largely been achieved.

Thanks to the participation of 149 companies and organizations, the Committee was able to strengthen a positive image of Sweden abroad and promote Sweden as a nation of knowledge, with sustainability in focus. The Committee is confident that the future will show long-term effects such as increased trade between Sweden and the MENA region and beyond as well as increased investments in and tourism to Sweden.

The Committee’s journey ends here, but the legacy of the Swedish participation at Expo 2020 in Dubai will live on, enabling sustainable solutions to our shared challenges.