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(LEAD) S. Korea submits application to host 2030 World Expo to BIE

All News 20:53 June 23, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in 8-9 paras; ADDS photo)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday handed in its official application to host its first World Expo in the southeastern port city of Busan in 2030, which will cover a wide array of themes ranging from climate change to technology.

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee visited Paris to submit the candidature letter to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which oversees the event, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The BIE plans to receive applications through October, with the final winner expected to be announced in 2023. So far, Russia's Moscow has also handed in its official bid.

Drones are aligned over the night sky of Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on June 19, 2021, to promote the city's plan to host the World Expo in 2030. (Yonhap)

South Korea said it will host the event from May to October 2030 under the slogan, "Transforming our world, Navigating toward a better future."

Around 32 million visitors are expected to visit the venue.

The country plans to promote its advanced display, chip and artificial intelligence technologies through the exposition as well.

"Along with the Busan International Film Festival and the G-Star Global Game Exhibition, the so-called soft power of Busan will help promote Korean culture around the globe," the ministry said in a statement. Both events are held annually in Busan.

Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, who visited the BIE office along with Trade Minister Yoo, emphasized the importance of the city's charm, the expo's theme, and the role of business firms.

"Currently, Russia (Moscow) and Busan are competing, and we do not yet know which city will further participate in the race, but there is talk that the three factors are important," Park said.

South Korea hosted Specialized Expos in Daejeon in 1993 and Yeosu in 2012, but it has not hosted a World Expo that covers a wider range of topics.

Shanghai and Milan hosted the 2010 and 2015 events, respectively. Dubai, the host for the 2020 exposition, delayed the event to later this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

If South Korea successfully hosts the 2030 World Expo, it will have organized all three major international events -- the World Expo, the Olympics and the World Cup.

South Korea hosted the country's first Summer Games in 1988, followed by the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 2018 in the alpine town of Pyeongchang.

Park Heong-joon (L), mayor of Busan, shakes hands with Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary general of the Bureau International des Expositions, in Paris on June 23, 2021, after Park and Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee submitted an application to host the World Expo in the southeastern port city in 2030, in this photo provided by the city. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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