THE Philippine pavilion for the rescheduled Dubai World Expo is nearly complete, a trade official said.

Philippine Commercial Attaché to the Middle East and Africa Charmaine Mignon S. Yalong said that 70% of construction work has been finished.

“By December we expect that the pavilion shell and core will be completed,” she said at an online Philexport meeting on Tuesday.

The government is spending an estimated P800 million to build, maintain, and promote Philippine creative goods at the six-month event, the Department of Trade and Industry said at the media launch last year. The 192-nation expo is expected to attract 25 million visitors.

The Philippine pavilion plot spans more than 3,000 square meters with the structure containing almost 1,400 square meters.

The government is aiming to promote the Philippine brand, trade and investment through business-to-business contacts, and improve business-to-consumer engagement through commercial shops and fairs, Ms. Yalong said.

The Philippines will be highlighted at its expo “national day” on Feb. 11, 2022. The rescheduled 2020 Expo will itself open in October 2021.

The Dubai World Expo was rebranded to “The Safest and Most Connected Show on Earth” from “The World’s Greatest Show” due to the pandemic.

The United Arab Emirates has recorded more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases, with 534 deaths.

The Philippines previously participated in World Expos in Shanghai in 2010 and Yeosu, South Korea in 2012. — Jenina P. Ibañez