RIYADH: Mauritius will vote for Saudi Arabia to host Expo 2030 because it believes the Kingdom has the best capabilities among the candidate nations, according to the Mauritian minister in charge of of foreign affairs, regional integration and international trade.
Alan Ganoo, who is also the minister of land transport and light rail, told Arab News that the current hostilities between the other two candidates — Russia and Ukraine — plus the abilities the Kingdom demonstrated with its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai were leading factors in the decision.
“As you know, the decision will be made next year,” he said. “Nevertheless, we have been following the selection process and we have also been attentive to selecting the ideal candidate. We believe that such a global event should be made on the basis of certain principles, such as rotation and geography.
“Given the pertinence of the event in spearheading and in promoting economics, trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, it is important to us that the state should have the means and the capacity to make the event unique rather than being a usual exposition.”
Five countries — Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Italy, Ukraine and Russia — are competing to host the global event.
Ganoo said that he had been impressed by the Saudi Pavilion at Expo 2020 and that this had contributed heavily to his country’s decision.
“We had a glimpse of what Saudi Arabia is capable of doing when we visited the Saudi Pavilion,” he added.
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Following his visit to the pavilion, Ganoo conveyed his views in support of the Kingdom’s Expo 2030 bid to his country’s prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, and his colleagues.
“I must also tell you that I’ve exchanged views on the Saudi candidacy with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir,” he said.
“I informed him that Saudi Arabia has the best chance of all the candidates, especially if you consider the present world circumstances, such as the hostility between the two other candidates, Russia and Ukraine.”
Ganoo added that the Kingdom and Mauritius enjoy a close relationship and his country is exploring ways to increase the number of Saudi tourists after a decline in the number of visitors from Europe, which had been a major source of national revenue.