22 October 2021, Al Wasl Plaza,
Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE
Your Highness, Your Excellences,
Honorable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is, indeed, a great honor for me to open the National Day of Lithuania at World EXPO in Dubai. I am happy to be in the United Arab Emirates – the global centre of business, trade, logistics, technology, as well as the amazing destination for recreation and cultural experiences.
This year the United Arab Emirates celebrates its milestone golden jubilee, and I am pleased to have the privilege to extend my very best wishes to you all on this occasion. Your country is an example of how wise vision and dedicated people can build modern societies and economies, and shape the future of our world, while at the same time cherishing traditions and nature.
On geopolitical level, we praise your country’s efforts for regional and global peace and stability, as well as your humanitarian work, as creativity and innovations can only flourish in a stable, peaceful, and cooperative environment.
As international community, we are never short of challenges – from economic crises and climate change to the current pandemic. But I hope it is clear to all of us that the most complex challenges can only be tackled effectively through concerted global efforts. Expo 2020 in Dubai provides us with a global platform that pools together countries, international organisations, businesses, and researchers. And we are here to strengthen and expand our partnerships and to showcase innovative and cutting-edge solutions to our global problems.
Expo 2020 Dubai’s central theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, resonates well with Lithuania, as my country’s strength lies in being open, eager to co-create, and grow together with other nations along the way.
Innovative approaches, open governance, educated people, and rich culture create ideal conditions for Lithuania to be a catalyst for change. World class companies from a diverse range of sectors come to Lithuania to co-create solutions for tomorrow, while our start-ups are working hand-in-hand with the likes of NASA and SpaceX.
My Government is determined to make conditions for innovative economy even more attractive. The foundations we are building on are very solid.
Already today, Lithuanian-produced lasers compose 10 % of the global scientific laser market, while Lithuanian-based biotech companies are producing active ingredients for COVID-19 vaccines. My country has every opportunity to become one of the genetic editing hubs globally. Some of this technology you can see at the Lithuanian Pavilion.
Being part of the innovative Nordic-Baltic region, Lithuania also greatly benefits from its memberships in the EU, NATO, and OECD. And I am certain that our economic and innovative achievements are only gaining momentum – vast potential is still ahead of us.
Indeed, I see many opportunities for both our countries to cooperate in co-creating the future by applying innovative solutions, especially in biotech, lasers, and renewable energy, improving public sector services via govtech solutions, and working in other fields to improve everyday lives of people and foster sustainability. After all, the future is being built every day by empowered dreamers and innovators. And we are ready to be of a help along this way.
Some of the dreamers, the current and future innovators, are here with us today. Twenty students, winners of the Junior Achievement Program, and more than 100 Lithuanian business representatives from the most innovative fields (such as laser, life sciences, IT, and biotech) are present at the opening of the Lithuanian National Day. I am certain that their participation and meetings at the exhibition will lead to new partnerships, and new ideas will be born.
As we open Lithuanian National Day at EXPO, I would also like to highlight Lithuania’s cultural program throughout the exhibition. Tonight, the Jubilee Stage will feature the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and our talented opera singers.
I take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation for the leadership of the United Arab Emirates and the EXPO 2020 organizers for this historic and impressive exhibition. I am certain that EXPO 2020 will invigorate our bilateral relations and will further strengthen our friendship.
We are looking forward to welcoming you here at the Lithuanian Pavilion in EXPO 2020, and whenever you might want to come and visit Lithuania.