Dubai kicked off Expo 2020 on Thursday and India is all set to generate huge investments and opportunities as the world emerges from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the first such event in the Middle East, 25 million people are expected to visit over six months. With gleaming pavilions in the dusty Dubai suburbs, Expo 2020 may even overshadow the Tokyo Olympics, during which strict Covid-19 rules ensured the venue lacked spectators.
However, pandemic protocol will make its presence felt at Expo 2020 too, as visitors will have to wear masks, socially distance themselves and carry vaccination certificates and negative test reports in order to enter.
According to the government, India will take new strides at Expo 2020. Over the next six months, the country will focus on fighting Covid-19 and the reforms ushered in by the Centre during the pandemic. These are expected to set the stage for a sustained high-growth phase going ahead.
The commerce ministry, which is steering India’s participation at Expo 2020, said that the country will primarily focus on presenting unlimited opportunities for the global community to participate in India’s growth story and benefit from it. This confidence stems from the fact that a large percentage of India’s population has been vaccinated and the target of inoculating all citizens soon seems doable.
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal, ahead of his visit to Dubai for the ceremonial opening of India’s pavilion at the world expo, maintained that the idea is to present the emergence of a ‘New India’ to the world.
Recently, while unveiling the curtain raiser on India’s participation at the expo, Piyush Goyal said the government is confident of generating ‘big time’ investments from the event. However, the government has not stated how much investment it expects to generate.
The inauguration of the India pavilion will consist of a grand cultural show and a three-minute video message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The message may reflect his clarion call, which he gave earlier, for India attaining sustainable growth over the next 25 years and becoming a global frontrunner in creating a safe and prosperous world.
India will present itself with a triad of themes: Openness, Opportunity and Growth. This is in sync with the expo’s three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The Union government plans to showcase the resilience of the Indian economy as well as the appetite for reforms and improving ease of doing business to shed old tags of ‘licence raj’, red tapism and archaic rules.