Expo 2020 Dubai: Pakistan to capitalise on trade opportunities, says top diplomat

Hassan Afzal Khan, Iqbal Dawood, Shabbir Merchant and other guests at the cake-cutting ceremony to mark Pakistan's 75th Independence Day in Dubai late on Wednesday. -- Photo by Mohammed Mustafa Khan
Hassan Afzal Khan, Iqbal Dawood, Shabbir Merchant and other guests at the cake-cutting ceremony to mark Pakistan's 75th Independence Day in Dubai late on Wednesday. -- Photo by Mohammed Mustafa Khan

Dubai - The country will host more than 200 business, cultural and tourism events at its pavilion



by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Thu 26 Aug 2021, 6:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 26 Aug 2021, 7:13 AM

A senior diplomat says that the Pakistani business community is fully ready to capitalise on the trade and investment opportunities arising from Expo 2020 Dubai, which starts in October.

Hassan Afzal Khan, Consul-General of Pakistan to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, says the Pakistani community is committed to making the mega exhibition a big success through their overwhelming participation in the six-month-long event.

"Pakistan pavilion is almost ready, and we are just finalising a plan to ensure active participation of the community. Businessmen should be ready to unfold their plans and build up the soft image of the country," Khan said while addressing Pakistan Business Council members at an event to mark the country's 75th Independence Day in Dubai late on Wednesday.

Khan, a career diplomat, replaced previous consul-general Ahmed Amjad Ali and assumed his responsibilities in the first week of August. He has also served at Pakistan missions in Berlin, Pretoria and Hanoi.

Visa challenges

Answering a question about the visa difficulties for Pakistani visitors, Khan said the UAE government had taken various steps to ease travel restrictions for international visitors.

"We are confident travel restriction will be further eased in coming weeks, and a large number of Pakistanis will attend the event and make it a huge success," the new consul-general said.

Ahmed Shaikhani, president of the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), Dubai, welcomed Hassan Afzal Khan and said the business community is keen to participate at the Expo actively.

Shaikhani, who shared a video message at the event as he was travelling, said he invited the Pakistani community and diplomats in US to visit the Pakistani pavilion at the Expo.

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Iqbal Dawood, director and officiating president of the PBC Dubai, said the Expo is a big opportunity for the Pakistani community to integrate with global companies and top corporate leaders to explore business opportunities.

"We need to promote Pakistan's tourism potential in line with the official theme 'The Hidden Treasure'. It's a big event, and we will go all out to make it a big success through our active participation," Dawood said.

Digital showcases

Adeem Khan, Trade Investment Councillor, briefed business council members about the latest developments at the Pakistani pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

"Pakistan has one of the largest pavilions at the Expo, with 35,000 square feet of space. It will have eight designated sections to digitally showcase the country's civilisation, natural wonders, music, crafts and opportunities in key sectors," Adeem said.

"We will host more than 200 events during the six-month-long Expo. The focus will remain on cultural and tourism events, seminars and B2B meetings," he said.

Shabbir Merchant, managing director, Champion Neon, and director PBC Dubai shared the concluding remarks and thanked the diplomatic guests, PBC members and other participants at the event.

---- muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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