Switzerland has officially signed up for Dubai Expo 2020 and has become the first country to do so.

Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum announced the news after meeting Switzerland’s Ambassador to the UAE Maya Tissafi.

Sheikh Ahmed said, “Expo 2020 Dubai will be an international focal point where people and countries will come together to celebrate human ingenuity, and our shared ability to build a better future.”

“We are delighted that the Swiss government has committed to participate, over four years ahead of the start of the Expo. The decision is an important reflection of the international role played by the UAE, and the significance of Expo 2020,” he added.

Previously, the Swiss federal Council confirmed the country’s participation in Expo 2020 at a meeting last week. The budget for the Swiss Pavilion at the Expo site would be AED 57 million ($15.5 million).

The Federal Council said in a statement, “Given the economic and political significance of the host country and the geopolitical weight of the Gulf region, the Federal Council decided that Switzerland would participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai.”

Expo 2020 Dubai Director General Reem Al Hashimy said, “We look forward to Switzerland’s participation in Expo 2020… We are working to deliver a World Expo that inspires millions of people around the world.”

Scheduled to be held between October 2020 and April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to host more than 180 countries and an international visitors numbering into 25 million. Spanning over 438,000 square metres, Expo 2020 Dubai will be 10 percent larger in size than Milan Expo 2015.

UAE officials are expecting the event to generate 277,000 jobs, mostly in the tourism industry.

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