The central theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, whereas its sub-themes are: Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity. This year’s Expo, with a record number of 192 participating countries, has a special symbolism and indicates the importance of people, their cooperation and connection, all with the aim of creating a more sustainable future. Expo 2020 Dubai wants to inspire people, present the best innovations in the world today, and show that we are ready to face today’s challenges such as climate change and sustainable development.

Our country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, has also decided to use this opportunity and show how innovative it is in creating various opportunities. Thus, we asked Vjekoslav Domljan, an economic expert and the Rector of the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST), who is currently involved in the preparation of the Global Development Framework of BiH and the Development Strategy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021 – 2027, to further explain what it means for one country and a company to participate at Expo:

“As Reem Al Hashimy, the Managing Director for Expo 2020 Dubai, said, the Olympic Games is a place where people come to compete in sports, the United Arab Emirates is a place where people come to discuss politics, whereas Expo is a place where people come to exchange ideas. Simply put, Expo is a platform for human progress.”

The world which is today connected like never before should use this opportunity at Expo to show that access to technology and knowledge is crucial for exchanging ideas and driving innovations. Only by investing in innovative solutions can one achieve more sustainable development. We asked professor Domljan to tell us about the strategic advantage of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

“Countries’ progress can be presented as three I (3I). When a country is at a low level of development, it imitates, that is, imports technology from abroad and makes products using its natural resources. Therefore, the first factories in BiH were tobacco, wood, and similar. The next phase of development is innovation, that is, turning knowledge into money. The final phase is an invention, that is turning money into knowledge. This phase involves pushing the limits of production possibilities. In 2019 BiH allocated 68 million BAM for research and development purposes, 18 million less than in 2013. Moreover, 381 persons worked in research and development, whereas in 2018, there were 483 persons.

It is necessary to find a shortcut and start reaching those who were at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall were way below BiH, whereas today they are members of OECD, that is, a club of rich countries, something that BiH should aspire to. To join OECD, we need to map regional value chains, identify regional development leaders, and support them by building centers of excellence. In this case, we should take a 200 million BAM loan from a development financial institution and invest it in building centers of excellence provided that companies invest their own 200 million BAM.”

Therefore, BiH can show its excellence and potential at Expo 2020 Dubai since it’s a place and platform for free and open exchange of ideas and innovations. By creating possibilities, it connects individuals, companies, and investors, thus creating a global economy of the future.