Seoul pledges its muscle to help Busan’s expo bid
Seoul has clambered on the bandwagon to help Busan win its bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Thursday at Seoul City Hall on cooperation on the bid.
The MOU calls for administrative support and mutual cooperation for overseas negotiations and promotional activities for the bid.
The two cities also agreed to cooperate in attracting overseas tourists, marketing, and finding and promoting joint cooperation projects at home and abroad to host international events.
For that, Seoul City said it will use its networks with sister cities and its media channels.
On Sept. 7, a Korean delegation delivered a candidature dossier to the Bureau International des Exposition (BIE) in Paris, fully entering the race against Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, Italy’s Rome and Ukraine’s Odessa.
A BIE mission is set to visit the proposed site in March, and the winning city will be voted for by secret ballot by BIE Member States at the end of next year.
The Busan city government highlighted the importance of rolling out its publicity campaign in the greater Seoul area, which is home to 20 million. Thursday’s MOU signing with Seoul will become an “inflection point” for promoting its bid to the world, the city added.
“We will concentrate our public relations capabilities from both inside and out to create a pan-citizen consensus on hosting the expo, and actively promote the need to host,” Mayor Oh said. “It is very meaningful that Seoul citizens, including myself, got to contribute to such significant event.”
“If we host the Expo, it will be a growth engine that will change the economic constitution not only of Busan but the whole country,” Mayor Park said.
“We will put all our efforts into working together with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to rally support of the public,” he continued.
Busan’s proposed theme for the 2030 World Expo is “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future,” with sub-themes of sustainable living with nature, technology for humanity and a platform for caring and sharing.
The city hopes a successful bid will help the southern region of the Peninsula economically and culturally and make it a major logistics hub for northeast Asia.
While Korea has hosted the World Cup and the Olympic Games, it has yet to host a World Expo.
Korea held specialized expos on a smaller scale in Daejeon in 1993 and Yeosu in 2012.
BY SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]