Korea’s bid for 2030 World Expo, lessons to developing countries

02 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Korea’s bid for 2030 World Expo, lessons to developing countries Republic of Korea Prime Minister Mr Han Duck-soo

The Herald

Following the recent success of Zimbabwe’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, many Zimbabweans should be looking forward to the next edition of the expo that comes in 2030.

In fact, by the time the World Expo 2030 arrives, Zimbabwe is envisaged to have attained its Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle income country.

The 2030 expo comes at the right time when the country would have enhanced its world status, becoming more prepared to participate at such an event and reap rewards that come with such a huge fair.

For example, Expo 2020 Dubai saw Zimbabwe putting up a solid investment and trade campaign, which yielded several business deals worth millions of dollars in key sectors.

More expressions of interest that required comprehensive follow-ups were secured at the expo.

President Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Government ministers, leaders in the private sector and experts from various fields visited the expo in Dubai where they presented a solid bid to lure investors to the country.

While there were rewards from the world expo in Dubai, Zimbabwe is expected to benefit more from the World Expo 2030 considering that it would have consolidated its economic recovery and ready to fully compete at the world stage.

Four countries are in the race to win hosting rights to the World Expo 2030 and these are the Republic of Korea, which intends to host the event in Busan City, Italy (Rome), Ukraine (Odesa), and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh).

 The project examination phase for World Expo 2030 is already underway, with each candidate having submitted a detailed candidature dossier to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organisers of the expo.

The host country of World Expo 2030 will be elected by BIE member states at a general assembly set to take place in November 2023, on the principle of one country, one vote.

The interested countries have already started sending their envoys to various countries to seek their votes, with the Republic of Korea already having sent its envoy to Zimbabwe to declare its interest in hosting the event and seek the country’s vote.

A look at the Republic of Korea’s bid shows that it is exciting, when considering the aspects that characterise that country in terms of pushing the world developmental agenda forward. 

On Tuesday this week, Republic of Korea Prime Minister Mr Han Duck-soo delivered a presentation on his country’s bid to host the expo at the 171st General Assembly of the BIE in Paris.

He appealed to members of BIE to award the 2030 World Expo to his country’s southern city of Busan.

Mr Han made it clear that by hosting the expo, the Republic of Korea will share its unique growth experience and develop international cooperation in overcoming human problems together.

He said the Republic of Korea will expand its overseas development aid for green projects to cope with climate change and energy crisis.

The expo is expected to serve as a forum for public discussion to help resolve pending issues facing humanity, including climate change, diseases and poverty, he said.

His presentation featured Korean pop culture, including K-pop sensation BTS and the movie “Parasite” and the series “Squid Game.”

According to the Republic of Korea government, hosting an expo is estimated to create economic effects worth about US$47,1 billion.

It is also interesting that Busan is a special city “where the past, present and the future meet, and is inhabited by kind and passionate people, who aspire to make it”.

The Republic of Korea will host the expo under the theme: “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future”.

In justifying the hosting of the World Expo 2030 in Busan, the Korean government says the city is located at the confluence where the Eurasian Continent meets the Pacific Ocean.

Busan is also the second largest trans-shipment port and the seventh largest container shipment port in the world, with an extensive network of airports, harbors, railways and roads.

It is a “backbone behind Korea’s dynamic economic growth and is the birthplace of multinational companies such as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai, etc”.

Under an ambitious mega-city innovation project, Busan is currently evolving into a smart hub for future industries such as ICT, Al, big data, block-chain, aerospace, hydrogen, robotics, ocean plant (offshore energy), nano conversion, and next-generation ship-building.

The city is also geared to transform itself into an eco-friendly work and vacation city and is thus promoting the Oceanix Busan, a futuristic floating city in cooperation with UN-HABITAT.

This makes the North Port, an eco-friendly smart port currently under further development, provide the perfect venue to host the World Expo 2030.

In connection to travel and tourism, Busan is a popular tourist destination that attracts approximately 40 million tourists annually, thanks to its rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as its beautiful natural environment composed of seven beaches, rivers, and mountains.

In addition, possessing a well-established state-of-the-art exhibition infrastructure and numerous experiences in hosting international events, Busan has become the 4th largest MICE city in Asia and the 9th largest in the world.

The city is also an active centre for Korean culture as it has served as the host for the Busan International Film Festival since   1996. 

Furthermore, the city has also become a home to G-Star, an annual video game festival where many companies and fans from all over the world gather to promote and showcase the latest digital content.

At the same time, it is seeking to become a digital cluster for many renowned and promising digital content-producing and game-making companies and start-ups.

These aspects of Busan, if it wins the bid to host World Expo 2030, will be beneficial to developing countries like Zimbabwe that can learn a lot on how to transform to modernisation and technological advancement.

In fact, the Republic of Korea can relate more to developing countries than any other aspiring host considering that it has managed to rise from a difficult past into an economic, commercial and technological power in less than 70 years. 

The Asian country has overcome war, poverty and other difficult challenges to become the world’s 10th largest economy, succeeding in achieving this by focusing on education, innovation and global cooperation.

How the Republic of Korea achieved its status can provide some pointers to developing countries like Zimbabwe that aspire to ride on education, innovation and technology to achieve their developmental aspirations of modernisation.

To add value to its bid, the Republic of Korea has been at the forefront of pushing for cooperation with other countries in various fields and there is already a foundation laid to help integrate countries through the expo.

Countries like Zimbabwe can tap into the Republic of Korea’s technological advancements at the World Expo 2030, while learning on how to help reduce the economic gap between the rich and the poor through technological transition.

It is interesting to note that the Busan World Expo 2030 Bid Committee aims to provide a vision for humanity to address some of its most significant challenges such as climate change, the digital transition and socio-economic polarization.

These are some of the issues at the heart of developing countries, and if solved can lead to a better world in terms of progress for humanity and the elimination of conflicts.

This is why the Republic of Korea’s Prime Minister Mr Han said at the 171st General Assembly of the BIE in Paris on Tuesday: “The World Expo 2030 Busan will present a new kind of Expo, a sustainable platform for all humanity to resolve our shared challenges together.” 

The Republic of Korea’s strategy for the Expo bid appears to be leveraged on its business networks, technological development, and pop culture status. 

In terms of the business aspect, the biggest companies in that country such as SK, Samsung and Hyundai are heavily involved in the committee bidding for Busan to host the World Expo 2030.

This has shown a unity of purpose among the Koreans to host the event successfully, and is an indication of a full bipartisan support for the expo.

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