Spotlight on the forest industry at World Expo in Dubai

Viveka Backeman, CEO of Swedish Forest Industries (SFIF), at the entrance to the Swedish pavilion "The Forest".

Swedish Forest Industries' Viveka Beckeman spoke about the importance forests.

Claudio Facchin, Hitachi Energy, Henrik Sjölund, Holmen/SFIF and Christian Levin, Scania, discuss the energy transition.

Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group, Björn Rosengren, ABB, Börje Ekholm, Ericsson and Reem Al Hashimi, CEO of Expo 2020, with Elizabeth Walentin.

The Swedish pavilion, with its powerful visual expression, has attracted attention and already had more than 300,000 visitors.

In the exhibition section, some of SFIF members show films in which they tell about their business.

Expo 2020 in Dubai has now opened, and many Swedish industries, authorities and organisations are here, including the Swedish Forest Industries Federation.

Dubai is currently hosting 190 countries at the World Expo on the theme ‘Connecting Minds – Creating the Future’. Much of Swedish industry is here, including companies such as Scania, Ericsson and SSAB, and King Carl XVI Gustaf attended for ‘Sweden Day’ on 15 December.

The Swedish pavilion, fittingly called ‘The Forest’, is made primarily of wood, including trunks, glades and stumps. The forest industry is promoting itself at the exhibition with videos from several member companies, giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about Sweden’s sustainable forestry and how clothes are being made from cellulose, amongst many other things.

Showing the way towards a sustainable future

“The Swedish Forest Industries Federation is proud to be part of the Swedish story, and the pavilion is a shining example of what wood construction has to offer. In our contribution, we want to showcase all the possibilities of wood and forest raw material. We want to demonstrate how the world can take the same steps that Sweden has taken – with a growing bio-economy that is moving us towards a more sustainable future,” says Viveka Beckeman, CEO of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, who participated in a panel debate titled ‘How can we co-create a Smart Society?’.

Henrik Sjölund, chair of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation and CEO of Holmen, also attended.

“The World Expo is an important platform for improving knowledge about our key issues – the fact that the forest needs to be managed for the sake of the climate and that all products from the forest bring climate benefits. Swedish forest companies have unique opportunities to play their part and we are already a vital actor in the green transition,” says Henrik Sjölund.

The Swedish pavilion, with its imaginative design, has attracted a great deal of attention from visitors and it is particularly gratifying, from our perspective, that the theme is the forest. Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter is the practice behind the design:

“The Forest pavilion is based around the idea of the vastness of the forest and wandering freely within it. The forest has been used as a metaphor in everything from the architectural approach to the exhibition’s staging, with spaces inspired by glades, treehouses and tree canopies. The Swedish pavilion is an open place for reflection that promotes imagination, creativity and co-creation. A fantastical blend of Nordic forest and Arabic patterns, of our culture and the culture we are visiting,” says Alessandro Ripellino.

Important platform

The Swedish participation in the World Expo is the government’s single largest project focusing on foreign exports and investment. The aim is to nurture a multifaceted and positive image of Sweden abroad, promote Sweden as a knowledge nation, publicise industry’s competitiveness and creativity, and boost Sweden’s attractiveness for tourism and investment.

“Sweden is here to make a difference. Expo 2020 is an important platform for promoting human rights, gender equality and workers’ rights,” states Foreign Trade Minister Anna Hallberg.