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(Busan Expo Bid) Yoon steers all-out campaign to host World Expo 2030

All News 10:00 September 07, 2022

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol is steering an all-out campaign to bring the World Expo 2030 to Busan as the government prepares to submit its proposal to the event's top authorities on Wednesday.

The proposal is set to be submitted to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organization in charge of overseeing the World Expo, in Paris.

President Yoon Suk-yeol (C) delivers remarks at a launch event for a committee promoting Busan's hosting of the 2030 World Expo, held in Busan on May 31, 2022. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol (C) delivers remarks at a launch event for a committee promoting Busan's hosting of the 2030 World Expo, held in Busan on May 31, 2022. (Yonhap)

The submission will formally kick off the three-way competition between Busan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Rome, Italy, to host the mega-event, which is expected to draw millions of visitors from around the world to engage in immersive activities around the themes of scientific, technological, economic and social progress.

The winning bid will be chosen in November next year.

Yoon has made it a priority of his administration to win the Expo bid, an event that is expected to generate economic benefits of a massive 61 trillion won (US$44 billion).

Hosting the Expo was included among Yoon's campaign pledges, as well as among his administration's key tasks.

And at an Aug. 17 press conference marking his first 100 days in office, Yoon drove home the message that he would stop at nothing to get the job done.

"There really is nothing we can do other than to convince and earn the support of each nation one by one," he said, referring to the BIE member states that will vote next year. "The economic impact is so large that we certainly can't give up, and we have to do our best."

Yoon has used almost every diplomatic opportunity to seek support for Busan, including on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid in June, and during numerous meetings and phone calls with foreign leaders.

The next big opportunity is likely to be at the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.

The president's diplomatic campaign has been supported at the working level by the prime minister's office.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo traveled to Paris in June to attend a BIE meeting where he delivered presentations in both French and English.

South Korean business conglomerates have also drawn on their global networks and resources to contribute to the campaign, with each company being assigned countries whose support they need to win.

Samsung is in charge of 31 nations, SK 24, Hyundai Motor 21, LG 10, Posco seven and Lotte three.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will serve as a special presidential envoy for the Expo bid and is expected to visit Britain as part of the campaign.

SK Chairman Chey Tae-won is also reportedly planning to visit Japan to promote the Expo bid.


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