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Public and private power turned up for 4th BIE push


President Yoon Suk Yeol in Paris speaking in support of Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo. "We will make it the best World Expo of all time."

 During the 172nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris, President Yoon Suk Yeol and several prominent figures promoted Busan's candidacy to host the 2030 World Expo. Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, the chiefs of Korea's four top conglomerates, and K-pop stars were also on hand to support the city's bid before the BIE selects the Expo host city in November.

 Three candidate cities-Busan, Rome, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-gave their fourth presentations in front of the 179 BIE member states. Each candidate had 30 minutes to explain why they should host the World Expo in 2030.

 The first speaker for Busan was K-pop entertainer PSY, whose hit song "Gangnam Style" took over the world in 2012. PSY began his speech by fondly remembering the time he held a flash mob of "Gangnam Style" with 20,000 people in front of the Eiffel Tower. He used this event as an example of K-pop's power to unite people worldwide. He also stated that the Korean values of freedom and determination lay a cultural foundation for the country's content exports, specifically K-pop, K-drama and K-cinema. PSY also mentioned that Korean influence through music, television, smartphones, cars and electronics is deeply rooted in the everyday lives of people. He ended his speech by confirming that the transformative power of culture and technology defines Busan's candidacy and that a Busan World Expo would serve as a platform for the global community to come together and exchange ideas for shared progress.

 World-renowned architect Dominique Perrault expressed his support of Busan's candidacy through video. The French designer stated his belief that architecture was about creating harmony between natural and artificial elements. Busan, he argued, is a captivating city that expresses this harmony, as the city blends beautiful natural settings with a modern and vibrant urban landscape. Perrault's video was followed by a speech from Chin Yang Kyo, a professor at Hongik University and the Chief Architect for Busan's proposed Expo site. Chin explained that he would turn the "industrial remains" of North Port into an eco-friendly and carbon-neutral site where "nature, humanity and technology co-exist in harmony."

 The third speaker was Lee Soo-in, the CEO of Enuma, an education technology company that creates digital learning software for children. Lee expressed Koreans' belief in "education's power to shape our future." She emphasized that education was the key to Korea's growth and recovery after the Korean War. Understanding the power of education, Enuma and the Korean government have worked together to help eliminate illiteracy in developing nations. These efforts exemplify a "shared love for humanity" and define Korea's "Busan Initiative." Lee stated that the World Expo in Busan would serve as an opportunity for nations to come together to address humanity's most pressing issues.

 As the final speaker for Korea, President Yoon spoke on "Korea's promise for citizens of the world and future generations." Yoon echoed Lee's sentiments that a Busan World Expo would be a solutions platform to address "humanity's urgent and complex challenges." He also stated that the international community helped Korea grow from the ruins of war and "transform itself into an economic powerhouse full of high-tech industry and innovative technologies." Hosting the World Expo would help Korea "give back to the international community what it has received thus far." Yoon ended his speech by stating that the 2030 Busan Expo would be remembered as one that "shifts the world's priority from competition to solidarity."

 Regarding the fourth presentation, Mayor Park believed that the city had shown everything it prepared to prove it was the right choice to host the Expo. Park was confident that Busan "had demonstrated that it is the best city to recognize the prosperity of human beings, which is the core spirit of the World Expo."


Mayor Park at an official BIE reception in Paris.

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Citizens rally in Gwangalli for the Expo bid.