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On January 17, 2010, at the beginning of his visit to Abu Dhabi, Walter Steinmann will participate in a meeting of the Preparatory Commission of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. The following day, Monday, January 18, 2010, sees the opening of the international World Future Energy Summit 2010 (WFES), which with 15,000 participants is the largest international meeting of influential representatives of the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Walter Steinmann will participate in a round table discussion of energy ministers that has as its theme "The Future of Global Energy Policies" and also open the Swiss Pavilion, where numerous Swiss firms will present products and services for the energy sector.
Bertrand Piccard will also appear at the World Future Energy Summit on January 18, 2010 when he will inform participants about Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane in which he and André Borschberg intend to complete a round-the-world flight relying only on solar energy.
Last year, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding on increased cooperation in the energy sector. Walter Steinmann will use the occasion of his visit to conduct further discussions with high-ranking representatives of Government to finalise the details of the proposed cooperation. Part of this close cooperation involves the Swiss Village, which will be established in the new city of Masdar. The "Swiss Village Abu Dhabi" association, which around 130 Swiss companies have joined as members, has been founded in Switzerland. On the occasion of the visit to the Masdar City site, the Swiss Delegation will gather information about the overall progress of the project and of that of the Swiss Village.