Maharashtra is the most developed state economy in India. It is such an integral part of India’s growth story that the state’s participation in any global event which India is a part of is imperative. Maharashtra’s history and culture are woven into the rich tapestry of India’s cultural fabric. To showcase Maharashtra’s vibrant culture, art, history and business potential, the state is participating in the World Expo, being held in Dubai, from 19 November to 2 December 2021.
Dubai is hosting the largest World Expo organised till date, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The city is expecting participation from 192 countries and over 25 million visitors in the six months of the Expo. India is one of the key participants in the Expo with most of the central government departments and many states participating. The Expo’s history dates to 1851 and was started by Prince Albert to showcase the latest technology innovation and business initiatives around the world. The Expo is held every five years and was delayed due to the pandemic in 2020. However, today Dubai is witnessing enthusiastic participation from all the countries.
The Expo has been divided into 11 themes — Climate and Biodiversity, Urban and Rural Development, Tolerance and Inclusivity, Golden Jubilee, Knowledge and Learning, Travel and Connectivity, Global Goals, Health and Wellness, Food, Agriculture & Livelihood, and Water. These themes have been carefully selected so that each country can showcase their future-readiness and the entire world can come together for a sustainable and prosperous future. There are more than 30,000 volunteers who will work together to make this event a success. The Expo area is divided into three districts — Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India has been allotted its pavilion in the opportunity district.
India has built its pavilion as one of the five permanent structures in the Expo area which will stand as the country’s landmark for the coming 50 years. The pavilion is divided into four floors and eight large halls in which India will be showcasing heritage, culture, future-readiness, global relations, business powerhouses, sectoral policies, and vision as well as the prowess of its states, besides art.
The first floor in the Annex B building has been allocated to the states, who will be participating for one to two weeks sequentially. The Government of Maharashtra has finalised its dates to be 19 November 2021 to 2 December 2021, a period of 14 days in which it will showcase “Realizing the Trillion Dollar Vision” of Maharashtra.
More than 15 departments of the state government are expected to participate in this mega event and showcase their achievement and vision as well as how they are contributing to the development of Maharashtra’s economy.
Along with the core theme, the state has divided its participation into 12 sub themes aligning with the broader themes of the Expo — Businesses of the Future, Visioning Mumbai in 2025, Resource Security, Magnetic Maharashtra, Building pathways to prosperity, Hyper Mobility, Connecting India & the World, Fashion Forward, Future Workforce, Resiliency and Climate Change, Stronger Together and Bollywood & Beyond. These sub themes encapsulate Maharashtra’s strengths as well as the state’s vision for the future.
Maharashtra’s participation is expected to begin with a bang. Honorable Minister of Industries Shri Subhash Desai will inaugurate the State pavilion and subsequently address the strong Marathi diaspora in the UAE. He is also expected to sign some key investment initiatives as well as bilateral agreements of economic cooperation with strategic investment and country partners.
Maharashtra is the most attractive FDI destination in India and has attracted almost 30 per cent of total FDI flowing in the country from 2000 to 2021. In fact, even during the pandemic, Maharashtra has attracted investments of almost USD 27.5 Bn (October 2019 to June 2021, as per DPIIT). Maharashtra has recently signed agreements of mutual cooperation with IFCCI (Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry) and UKIBC (UK-India Business Council). The Maharashtra Industrial Cooperation (MIDC), the state’s nodal investment promotions agency, is also constituting a dedicated Country Desk programme to further enhance and facilitate FDI in Maharashtra.
Along with showcasing the business attractiveness of Maharashtra, the state will showcase some of its key urban development initiatives such as AURIC (Aurangabad Industrial City), the Navi Mumbai International Airport, the Coastal Road Initiative, the Trans Harbor Link, and the Samruddhi Corridor among others, which are key infrastructure projects that will catapult Maharashtra’s infrastructure readiness to a global standard.
Maharashtra is also accentuating its trade potential via sea route with new ports and industrial areas at Dighi in Raigarh and Vadhavan Port in Palghar district, among others.
Currently, Maharashtra has a share of 20 per cent of India’s export-oriented manufacturing and almost 40 per cent of India’s merchandise exports happen through Maharashtra ports and airports.
In addition to trade and commerce, showcasing Maharashtra’s culture and tourism potential will also be a key part of the state’s participation in the Dubai Expo. The city of Mumbai is known worldwide as the home of India’s film industry — Bollywood. The state also has a thriving Marathi film industry which has grown exponentially with the advent of new platforms in OTT and digital entertainment space. Historically, Maharashtra has had a classical tradition of music and dance art forms such as Lavani, Powada, Gondhal, etc. The world audience will be able to experience vibrant colours of these art forms in the Expo.
Along with it, Maharashtra’s history, key historical tourist destinations such as Ajanta-Ellora will also be showcased.
One of the themes of the Dubai Expo is travel and connectivity and the other is Climate and Biodiversity, both of which are strongly aligned with geographical resources of the state.
The Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are known for their rich biodiversity and natural heritage with more than 5,000 flowering plants, 139 mammals, 508 birds and 179 amphibian species. Furthermore, Maharashtra has more than 60 forest reserves and six tiger reserves with the fourth-highest population of the Asiatic tiger in India.
The textile department will be showcasing the rich traditional Indravani saree and other traditional textiles from Maharashtra along with the state’s potential as a textile manufacturing hub. Amravati in the eastern part of the state is being developed as a mega textile manufacturing cluster. As one of the highest cotton producers in the country, the state has always been a powerhouse in textile manufacturing. Maharashtra’s vision is to adapt to the future by strengthening itself in the manmade fibre sector as well. The state pavilion will also be hosting a fashion show showcasing the rich heritage and potential of the textile sector.
Along with experiencing Maharashtra’s business and cultural diversity, the visitors will also be able to taste the cuisine of Konkan, Marathwada and Vidarbha in the food court at the India pavilion. A specially curated menu has been crafted for visitors to experience the different tastes of Maharashtra. In the retail shop at the India pavilion, visitors can also buy Indravani sarees and traditional products crafted by SHGs of women across the state.
These products can be ordered online and will be delivered at the doorstep.
The state of Maharashtra invites you to experience its culture, cuisine, tourism, and business potential at the India pavilion at the Dubai Expo.
(ThePrint ValueAd Initiative content is a paid-for, sponsored article. Journalists of ThePrint are not involved in reporting or writing it.)
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