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Pivotal year of World Expo efforts


A Samsung Electronics billboard, located in Bahnhofstrasse, Davos, Switzerland, shows the company's support and promotion of the World Expo 2030 Busan. (source:Samsung Electronics)

■ Diplomatic strides
 This year, the host city for the 2030 World Expo will be selected. Busan Metropolitan City is making grand strides toward a successful bid to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The primary focus of the current administration is the BIE's scheduled on-site inspection in April and it is working to promote Busan as the best choice.
 Mayor Park Heong-joon visited France and Switzerland from Jan. 17 to 20 to promote the bid for World Expo 2030 Busan. He met with BIE representatives from Africa, which comprise 46 of the 171 BIE member states, to discuss support for the bid. The region is considered a priority for cooperative efforts and Mayor Park actively delivered the city's willingness and preparation to host while asking for the representatives' support.
 On Jan. 18, Park traveled to Swit-zerland, the host country of the World Economic Forum, to attend "Korea Night" hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Davos. Mayor Park attended President Yoon Suk-yeol's special address at the Davos Forum the following day.
 Yoon attended the Davos Forum 2023 in Switzerland and actively promoted the Busan bid and the increasing customized bidding activities centered on the "One Team" with national government delegates and heads of major Korean companies. At the "Korea Night" event, global leaders were invited to promote the "Busan Initiative," an international cooperation project that shares Korea's unique growth experience and suggests specific cooperation pr-ojects to address global issues. The forum was attended by over 2,700 leaders, including top figures from 52 countries and more than 600 worldwide CEOs.


Mayor Park meeting delegates in Europe last month. (Photo: Park Hyeri)

■ April, the BIE field inspection team visits Korea
 The host city will be chosen at the November BIE General Assembly in Paris, France. Currently, Busan (South Korea), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Rome (Italy) and Odessa (Ukraine) are the four potential cities and each is promoting its strengths. A critical factor will be the BIE's on-site inspection before the November assembly; the city is working with the business sector to spur these preparations.

 The BIE inspection team is comprised of the Executive Chairperson, Secretary-General and officials from member countries. Evaluation criteria include the event schedule and obje-ctives, national support and the establishment of an international transportation network. The expo site construction plan, post-use plan, the expected number of visitors, accommodation facilities and the budget are also necessary benchmarks for the decision. Also, the team will meet with politicians and citizens to assess their willingness to host the event.

 After the on-site inspection, the 171 BIE member states are expected to use the gathered information and data to choose the best country to host the World Expo in 2030.
 The BIE on-site inspection of Korea is set to take place from April 3 to 7 in both the country's capital city, Seoul and the prospective host city, Busan. Competing countries' inspections will be conducted around the same time in Riyadh, from March 6 to 10, Odessa, March 20 to 24 and Rome, from April 17 to 21. Before and during the inspection team visit, the city plans to actively promote its willingness to host and position itself as the ideal location for the event.
 The city's focus will be on promoting its diverse city charms, rich infrastructure and residents' aspirations. A particular highlight of the promotions will be the city's ability to embody Korea's past, present and future.