Expo 2020 Dubai
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Expo 2020 Dubai: Financial Services, Fintech and Wider Digital in Luxembourg and Malaysia

Expo 2020 Dubai is showcasing innovations across its themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. Countries from across the world are taking part and highlighting their wider economic development. The following will spotlight Malaysia and Luxembourg

In terms of the financial services industry and specifically fintech and wider digital, how is Expo 2020 Dubai spotlighting countries such as Luxembourg and Malaysia? The first Expo or world’s fair in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) is making headlines and bringing people from across the world to learn more about opportunity, mobility and sustainability.


Ten years after they established an embassy in Abu Dhabi, Luxembourg has seized the opportunity of the Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase all that makes the small but smart Grand Duchy a force for innovation and sustainability within the theme of ‘Resourceful Luxembourg’.

Luxembourg Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai
Luxembourg Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai

The resourcefulness of Luxembourg will be exhibited through five segments, with each donating a key aspect of the country: diversity, connectivity, sustainability, entrepreneurship and beauty.

Luxembourg’s three-storey 3,650m² pavilion, which has been gifted to the UAE, sits as a jewel of the Expo’s Opportunity district. Metaform – the architectural studio responsible for the pavilion’s unmistakable design – was inspired by the symbolic openness of the Möbius loop; delineating a circular economy and an object without boundaries.

The scenography of the pavilion was developed by Jangled Nerves, and allows visitors to experience the Grand Duchy with all their senses whilst they explore the valleys and gorges of the European country’s landscape.

And if you find yourself feeling hungry during your visit, you needn’t worry, as the pavilion hosts the Michelin-starred Schengen Lounge, offering a broad gastronomy led by Kim Kevin de Dood. Upon leaving the pavilion, visitors can opt to utilise the only pavilion at the Expo to accommodate a slide; a feature that’s reminiscent of the country’s annual Schueberfouer funfair.

Luxembourg’s Expo schedule is one of the busiest, featuring Luxembourg Tourism Days, a virtual reality travelling exhibition, participation in a string of thematical weeks, and the celebration of Luxembourg Day at the Expo on 23rd January 2022.

To facilitate their mission at the Expo, Luxembourg has partnered with a collective of local sponsors including, ArcelorMittal, RAK Porcelain, Schroeder Joailliers and the global connectivity services provider SES.

Steve Collar, CEO, SES
Steve Collar, CEO, SES

“Luxembourg’s participation in the World Expo comes at a pivotal moment when the world is accelerating the adoption of digital tools and artificial intelligence, and is developing cutting-edge networks and quantum technologies. In this respect, Luxembourg has much to offer to the world and can help accelerate this evolution,” said SES CEO Steve Collar. “As a leading space company based in Luxembourg for more than 35 years, we are proud to be part of the national drive to support this global transformation and new era of innovation, and look forward to being a player in the next big developments to come.”

Delving further into recent developments regarding Luxembourg’s fintech ecosystem, the country’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) recently signed an MoU with Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, which outlines paths on sharing information regarding fintech and innovation from within their respective financial markets. In addition to this, The LHoFT Foundation, has launched its new brand CATAPULT to drive technology innovation in Luxembourg, furthering the connectivity between domestic and international fintech communities.


Sustainability has been a popular element in the design of many of the pavilions stationed at the Expo 2020 Dubai, and Malaysia’s pavilion – which contains a space of 1,234 m² – comes as a key example of this trend.

Under the theme ‘Energising Sustainability’, Malaysia’s Net-Zero Carbon Rainforest Canopy pavilion represents the country’s concerted efforts to reduce emissions at home as well as in its external activities.

The net-zero carbon commitment involves neutralising the embodied carbon in the construction materials, the emissions from construction and operation activities as well as in the decommissioning of Malaysia’s pavilion. This amounts to an estimated 1,553.67 tonnes CO₂ equivalent, not including emissions from repair, maintenance, and recovery activities.

To offset the emissions, 4,000 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent credits generated through avoided emissions under sustainable forest management (SFM) practices were acquired. These forestry carbon credits are solid testimonies of the country’s sound forestry practices and in honouring its Rio Earth Summit 1992 pledge to keep at least 50% of its landmass as forest and tree cover.

Designed by Malaysian firm Hijjas Architects and Planners, the design of the pavilion is inspired by Malaysia’s rainforest landscape and incorporates the elements of interconnected canopies, floating canopies and a meandering river.

Malaysia Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai
Malaysia Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai

Split across four floors, the pavilion’s programme focuses on four segments; energising business, energising harmony, energising today and energising tomorrow. Each floor showcases a different element from each of these segments, including cultural performances, Malaysian craft demonstrations, industry leadership talks, business exhibits and corporate events; complete with a food and beverage outlet offering visitors a taste of true Malaysian flavour.

Delivering his speech at the launch of the pavilion, which comes as the seventh time the country has participated in the quinquennial event since 1970, Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, The Honourable Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Baba said: “Malaysia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai illustrates our commitment to international collaboration, long-standing interest in global conversations, as well as initiating dialogues on common challenges and opportunities on science, technology and innovation (STI). The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has undertaken an integrated approach in converging two major sectors of the country, namely ‘STI’ and ‘Economy’ to catalyse the Socio Economic Transformation and Inclusive Growth.”

“Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity on many angles, including to increase Malaysia’s bilateral trade and ties with the UAE and other participating countries. Malaysia and the UAE enjoy excellent relations and our bond continues to grow stronger,” he emphasised.

Describing the aesthetic concept of the pavilion Baba added: “Malaysia has created a unique platform that symbolises its commitment to sustainable development, reaffirming the nation’s vision of balancing socio-economic development with environmental concerns. This is aligned to Malaysia’s sustainability vision of inspiring meaningful action towards global climate change aspiration.”

Further afield, Malaysia has been practicing what they preach. Hatten Tech has signed a memorandum of understanding with SGX Mainboard-listed Singapore Myanmar Investco Ltd. (SMI) to jointly explore business opportunities in green cryptocurrency mining activities.

Continue reading: The Fintech Times explores the pavilions of Israel and Thailand.   


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

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