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Busan launches bid for 2030 World Expo


▲ Various colors of rice are planted to create a unique image celebrating Busan's 2030 World Expo campaign.

■ Official declaration of intent to host

 The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy officially launched Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo at the 167th general meeting of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held virtually on December 1, 2020. Representatives expressed their vision for the Expo and presented attractions that make Busan the best choice for host city. Facing competition from Russia's capital, Moscow, the Korean government pledged to support the event and called on member countries to back Busan's bid.

 Busan's Expo plan passed a feasibilty examination for international events by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance in 2018. Officials also cited abundant natural attractions, developed tourism and transportation infrastructure and ample conference capacity as features that will help Busan succeed. The city has a long history of hosting international events, including Olympic events, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Asian Games and World Cup.

 The government is planning to finish general planning for the Expo by the end of 2021 and hand the final proposal to the BIE in 2022. To accelerate the campaign, Busan officials have devised a differentiation strategy to highlight the city's unique advantages and designed a system to help Busanites and local social organizations participate. The city plans to publicize its intention to host the Expo internationally through cooperation with companies and industry leaders. BIE member countries will vote to choose the host city in December 2023.


▲ Enthusiastic supporters present the Expo plan. (Source: Busan Ilbo)


▲ The event will be held at Busan's North Port.

■ What is the World Expo?

 If Busan wins, the city will hold the Expo with the theme "Human, Technology, Culture - chorus of the future" from May 1 to October 31, 2030 in the newly-developed North Port district. The World Expo is a mega-event, comparable to the World Cup and Olympic Games. As a registered exhibition, the largest of the three types organized by the BIE, there is no limit to the scale of the Expo site. Shanghai's 2010 World Expo set a record at 5,230,000 square meters, larger than 732 soccer fields. Pavilions representing countries and organizations may be several stories high and as large as city blocks. Also known as the World's Fair, the event continues in the tradition of the 1851 Great Exhibition held in London's Hyde Park in 1851 to showcase culture and industry. The massive success of that first event, which dazzled attendees with the wonders of the industrial revolution, resulted in a series of World Expos held every five years. Expo themes address broad human challenges.

 Korea has successfully hosted two specialized exhibitions in Daejeon (1993) and Yeosu (2012). These smaller events, previously called recognized expositions, are limited to 250,000 square meters of exhibition space and run for three months. Yeosu's 2012 event attracted over 8 million visitors and was praised for addressing global issues like climate change and ocean health. Busan's 2030 World Expo is expected to draw over 50 million guests from 160 countries, bringing international awareness and economic growth to the city.