ABU DHABI – Fiji’s participation in Expo 2020 will deepen ties between the Pacific nation and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said Mr Kamlesh Prakash, Fijian Ambassador to the UAE.

He was speaking at a special event on Saturday at the Bab Al Qasr Hotel in Abu Dhabi to mark the 49th Independence Day of the Republic of Fiji.

The country will have its own pavilion in the “Opportunity district” at the six-month Expo, which is scheduled to start on 20th October, 2020. “We are proud to participate as one of the first countries from the South Pacific in the Expo 2020. This will further enhance and deepen the relationship between Fiji and the MENA region,” he said.

The Expo, expected to draw more than 25mn visitors from around the world, “will unfold new business and economic opportunities for smaller nations such as Fiji”, the Ambassador added.

The relations between Fiji and the UAE could not have been better and we are striving to further strengthen trade, tourism and cultural ties between the two countries, Mr Prakash said. He thanked the UAE government and its “wise leadership” for having “assisted us most generously in our time of need with the construction of three schools in Fiji, post tropical “Cyclone Winston”.

He said the country, which has shown global leadership and held the presidency of COP23, or the 23rd annual Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and co-hosted the United Nations Oceans Conference has been earning greater respect and influence at the global level. “At the United Nations General Assembly, Fiji continued to spearhead and lead the world’s campaign on the Climate Change agenda,” Mr Prakash said.

He congratulated UAE for sending the first Emirati to the International Space Station, fulfilling a dream of the Father of Nation, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to be the first to launch an Arab into space. “What a proud moment this has been for all the Emiratis and indeed all Fijians watching these developments from inside the UAE,” he said.

“All of us — our very hardworking pilots flying the world’s best airlines, Emirates and Etihad, around the globe, our most compassionate nurses working tirelessly round the clock in hospitals around the country, the most passionate teachers nurturing and guiding children in schools, security personnel guarding the strategic assets of the country and ensuring safety of all, renowned Fijian rugby players helping local clubs and the national team win multiple tournaments, not forgetting our nationals residing and having a great time in the country — are so proud of the achievements of the UAE, “ said the Ambassador.

Fiji has about 300 of its nationals working in the UAE. Among them are many aviation professionals, including over 40 pilots working for Emirates and Etihad. Mr Prakash urged all Fijians to continue to be good Ambassadors of Fiji here in the Middle East.

© Press Release 2019

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