[INTERVIEW] ‘We can win this race’ to host World Expo 2030

Park Heong-joon, Busan Metropolitan City Mayor, talks during an interview with The Korea Times, July 11. Courtesy of Busan Metropolitan City

Busan mayor seeks to capitalize on K-pop boom as part of expo bid

By Ko Dong-hwan

Busan Mayor Park Hong-jun has shown confidence in winning the bid to host the 2030 World’s Fair.
“We have the resources to provide K-Pop and other K-cultures to attract the attention of the general public, which Saudi Arabia does not have. It is possible that we are lagging behind Saudi Arabia at this time.

There is a tendency, but the actual race has not started yet. If you do your best, you can win this race. ” By the time South Korea’s largest coastal city began to attract attention in bids last year, rivals in the Middle East had already begun to reach out to countries with financial incentives to make the capital the ultimate winner.

After the presentation of the second round at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) headquarters in Paris in June, the race narrowed to Busan, Riyadh, and Rome. However, the current outlook is that Busan and Riyadh are well above the Italian capital.


Park understands how desperate Saudi Arabia is to host the 2030 World’s Fair. The king and prime minister of the country, Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, has set 2030 as a new starting point for his country’s prosperity and will be an important step towards achieving that goal. I have set a goal to host. Some Muslim members of the BIE have already publicly supported Riyadh towards Busan.

However, the mayor is currently in his second term and believes that his city will be able to overtake Riyadh before all 170 BIE member states vote for the host city in November next year.

“The Japanese government’s diplomatic officials and conglomerates of large corporations have begun to turn their gear toward bidding,” Park said. “Some countries seem to already support Riyadh, but they haven’t put their support on paper. Rather, they did it for diplomatic reasons. Still, over 100 member states have not been decided. “According to the mayor of, the upcoming fair will be an initiative not only in Busan but also in the whole country. If secured, the event is expected to generate five times the economic value of the previous exhibitions in Daejeon (1993) and Yeosu (2012) due to its size and scale.

“As participating countries dig into their pockets towards 2030, they will certainly be in the black. We just provide them with land and they will build a building worth 50-100 billion won with their money. ” “By the 2030 World’s Fair, South Korea will be one of the top seven economies in the world.”

A new airport will open on Gadok Island, south of the city, while Takeyama is scrambling to lay the groundwork by 2030. Park said that he would not only guide visitors to the fair but also enhance the city’s economic competitiveness for the growth and competition in Seoul.

“We need to build an [airport] as soon as possible,” the mayor said. “Experts have already evaluated its feasibility and can build it by 2030. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is now preparing to accelerate construction bids to bring them into the pipeline. doing.”

Credit/Source : https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2022/07/120_332817.html

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