President: Latvia should go to Dubai EXPO 2020

The Latvian government should support the country's participation in EXPO 2020 Dubai, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis said at the end of a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

On March 1 Vejonis briefed Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis on the visit, dropping a heavy hint that participation in the World Expo event in 2020 should feature Latvia mong the pavilions.

A decision about Latvia's participation or otherwise in the world fair has to be made by the Cabinet of Ministers. The Latvian president believes that the Latvian government "should support the country's participation in EXPO 2020 as it would be a chance for Latvian companies to establish new international business contacts," according to a statement from the presidential press service.

However, the last time Latvia agreed to participate in an international expo, at Milan, ended in embarassment and confusion with millions of euros wasted, as previously reported by LSM.

With the stand far from ready for the opening of the event and with open warfare between the various parties involved in the project, then-Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola pulled the plug on Latvia's participation at the eleventh hour.

As previously reported, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis visited the UEA on February 25-28. On this visit, he was accompanied by several Latvian ministers and a large business delegation.

But the trip was not without controversy, with Vejonis pictured enjoying dinner at the lavish Burj-al-Arab hotel alongside high-ranking UAE and Latvian officials and former Latvian transport minister Ainars Slesers.

Slesers no longer holds any official position and is regarded as one of the country's most influential "oligarchs".

Between October 2020 and April 2021, Dubai will host a World Expo and claims it will have "an international audience of 25 million visitors," and "it will be one of the greatest shows on Earth."

"On a 438 hectare site, connected to three international airports and a dedicated transport network, Expo will provide visitors with the chance to see spectacular architecture, merge with global cultures, examine thoughtful and thought provoking exhibitions, and taste food from every corner of the globe," enthuses the official website.

"Above all, visitors to the event will witness the very latest in thinking and technology all in one place and at one time. Expo will be an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience. We are preparing for an event that will enthral and amaze the many millions who visit, providing a sense of wonder at the ability of people, working together, to envisage and achieve a better tomorrow," it says.

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