The Korea Herald


Public-private partnerships to bring Expo to Busan

By Kim So-yeon

Published : April 6, 2023 - 17:55

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The Busan Expo bidding committee holds a third meeting in Seoul, on Mar. 10 (SK Innovation) The Busan Expo bidding committee holds a third meeting in Seoul, on Mar. 10 (SK Innovation)

Local governments and private companies in South Korea have been ramping up efforts for the country's bid to bring the World Expo to Busan in 2030.

Hosting the 2030 World Expo has been a long-standing goal for Korea, who started on the path to candidacy in 2014.

In 2019, the bid for the World's Fair was designated as an important national project, prompting the establishment of a joint public-private bidding committee, which has been up and running since last year.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Chey Tae-won serve as co-chairs of the bidding committee, symbolizing the joining of forces between the public and the private sector.

To host the World Expo, both the public and private sectors have mobilized their diplomatic capabilities to win the support of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

Korea's top 10 domestic conglomerates, including SK and Samsung, have harnessed their corporate networking capabilities to meet with BIE member countries to discuss pending issues and support measures.

SK Group has shown outstanding efforts in their support activities as Chairman Chey takes on three key roles, including chairman of the KCCI and co-chairman of the Busan Expo 2030 bidding committee.

Chey recently met with the leaders of Spain, Denmark and Portugal as part of a presidential envoy, serving as a civilian diplomat while seeking support. Including meetings with state guests who visited Korea, chairman Chey negotiated with 130 countries, the number of negotiations reaching a total of 450.

The 2030 Busan Expo has been set as an important task at a national level as well, with government ministries joining forces to achieve the goal.

President Yoon Suk Yeol attended the World Economic Forum 2023 in Davos, Switzerland in January. In his opening remarks, Yoon introduced Busan as a city of international industry and cultural convergence. "We will promote the ‘Busan Initiative,' a customized international cooperation program based on the needs of each country, utilizing the characteristics of Busan,” Yoon said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy have also prioritized activities related to the Busan Expo bid, with the National Assembly proposing a resolution to successfully host the 2030 Busan World Expo.

The bidding committee plans to unify national enthusiasm for the Busan Expo, actively promoting the city's charms to the international community and highlighting Busan's capacity to lead the global agenda.