[Interview] Busan Mayor, Park Heong-joon
"We will do our best to attract the World Expo and show specific achievements in Busan's development."
- Busan Mayor, Park Heong-joon -
■ [Interview] Busan Mayor, Park Heong-joon
Q. What is the direction of your administration in 2023?
A. Last year, we did our best to enhance and share Busan's potential for change and innovation while highlighting its hope for a happy city for its residents. This year will continue our commitment to attract the world expo and spread Busan's city brand worldwide. Riding these waves of innovation, we will make this year a year to remember, showing Busanites and the world the city's development and achievements.
Q. You stated that this year's primary goal is a successful World Expo 2030 bid. How are these efforts and the competition progressing?
A. At the beginning of last year, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia was favored to win. However, after the launch of the new government and the establishment of a full-fledged public-private-government collaboration system. Since the third presentation, Saudi Arabia's support has been at a standstill, but ours (Busan's) has increased. Personally, after the third presentation, I am convinced that the possibility of hosting the expo has increased. This year, out of the gate, we plan to form a bond with African and Pacific Island countries.
Q. is it true that the city attracted a record number of investments?
A. Yes, last year, Busan attracted 3.431 trillion won from 71 companies in various fields. This is expected to create over 6,000 jobs. This year we plan to attract further investments with an agreement and plan worth approximately 2.5 trillion won.
Q. Busan received the grand prize for the "2022 Evaluation of Local Governments for the Establishment of Child Protection System." Can you tell us more about this?
A. Every year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare evaluates local governments' child protection system efforts. After the evaluation last year, Busan won the grand prize. Harnessing this win, we will further strengthen support for these and related systems. To that extent, we will enact a citywide policy "where all children are happy and respected" and "where people want to live."
Q. What is the purpose of relocating the headquarters of the Korea Development Bank (KDB) to Busan?
A. The relocation of KDB to Busan is the core of balanced national development. This move follows President Yoon Suk-yeol's pledge. We will promote the relocation without a hitch by strengthening communication with the National Assembly and establishing a close cooperation system with the Financial Services Commission, the Presidential Committee for Balanced National Development, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, KDB and more. With this in mind, we will respond to the expectations of Busanites.
Q. In what direction is the "English-friendly city" initiative going?
A. For Busan to become a global hub city, it is necessary to create a global communication environment. The value and meaning of an "English-friendly city" are to reduce the financial burden of English education for citizens and to create an environment where they can easily learn and use English. We make every effort for citizens to understand and sympathize to create a city where English is easy to speak.
Q. Do you have a New Year's greeting for Busanites?
A. Last year, Busan entered the era of investment attraction of 3 trillion won, ranking first in Korea in the "Global Smart Center Index." The city's International Finance Center Index also jumped to 29th. The National Geographic Traveler has selected Busan as a "cultural highlight to experience in 2023 and beyond." all of these achievements could not have been possible without the help from Busanites. Moving through this year with the confidence of these achievements, we will secure and embody a truly dynamic transformation. This year is the year of Busan, a global hub city. We hope to ensure a comfortable, convenient city where all can happily visit, live and enjoy.