Guinea to leverage Expo 2020 Dubai to boost private sector


Dubai - The country will use the Expo as a platform to showcase its trade and tourism potential, and strengthen its economic, commercial and cultural ties with other countries.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Tue 17 Aug 2021, 2:08 PM

The Republic of Guinea will use Expo 2020 to strengthen its private sector and attract investments to the tune of $1 billion, Gabriel Curtis, Guinea's Minister of Investments and Public Partnership, told Khaleej Times.

The West African country will use the world fair as a platform to showcase its trade and tourism potential, and strengthen its economic, commercial and cultural ties with other countries, said the minister, who is also the country's Expo Commissioner General.

"We want to ensure that our private sector and our businesses profit from the exposure we get at the Expo. And we hope that we will be able to attract an investment of anything between $500 million and $1 billion, thanks to Expo 2020."

Curtis said if the pavillion can get about a million visits out of the expected 25 million visits to Expo 2020, "it will be a major feat".

"It is a very important Expo because we have our own pavillion. We will be able to share our story. We will showcase Guinea to the world and sell its image and invite people and connect with other participants."

"Also, this is the first major international event and will prepare us for a post Covid world. International events like Expo 2020 Dubai are crucial to revive trade and the global economy," said the minister.

The nation is a beneficiary of a special assistance package from Expo organisers and has a shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean and shares borders with Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal as neighbours, among others.

He said Guinea's current focus in on energy, agro industry and infrastructure and these core pillars will deepen their ties with the UAE.

"In terms of innovation, we want to develop sectors such as health, mobility, mobile money, mobile transactions, e-commerce and agriculture. The improvement of the mobile internet penetration rate from 40 per cent to 65 per cent has placed Guinea among the top five African countries. The nation anticipates recording a growth of 5.6 per cent in 2021 against six per cent in 2020, despite the challenges faced due to impact of Covid-19 outbreak," said Curtis.

Guinea also possesses tremendous mining resources including large reserves of iron ore (20 billion tonnes), gold (700 tonnes), diamond (30 million carats) and bauxite (40 billion tonnes), which has attracted considerable FDI to the country. In 2019, Emirates Global Aluminium announced that it has commenced export of bauxite ore from Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), its mining project in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.

Guinea to be the water tower of West Africa

Speaking about the pavillion that is located at the Sustainability District, the minister said Guinea will showcase the country's sustainable economic development driven by a National Economic and Social Development Plan based on the pillars of good governance, economic transformation, human capital development and protection of natural resources.

In line with Guinea's image as the 'Water tower of West Africa', the pavilion at Expo 2020 will have a devoted theme on sustainable development and urban renewal focused on water.

"Water is an essential element of the country’s history, culture and social norms. So, the pavillion will be reflecting that. Visitors will run through riverways inside the pavillion, and while going on the tour, they will be able to see Guinean historical figures, different regions, experience the people and culture," said Curtis.

The total investment for the pavilion is estimated at total $2 million which has used sustainable materials to ensure zero carbon emission.

He said more than 50 companies and innovators will also participate at the pavillion, and showcase their sustainable initiatives.

The pavillion will also be celebrating the Guinea Day on February 13, 2022 and also organise a series of events around the Guinea Investment Forum to connect businesses.

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