South Korea’s Busan Makes Final Push to Host 2030 World Expo in Paris

SEOUL/PARIS – South Korea presented its final bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris on Tuesday. The presentation, featuring prominent figures like former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and K-pop stars, aimed to secure the hosting rights against contenders Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Rome, Italy.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Ban Ki-moon led the presentation, highlighting Busan's potential to transform the World Expo into a significant platform for addressing global issues and fulfilling the United Nations' sustainable development goals for 2030. The presentation, held at the Palais des Congres in a Paris suburb, emphasized Busan's role as a symbol of South Korea's rapid economic development and its commitment to contributing globally post-Korean War.

According to the Korea Herald, Ban's speech was part of a concerted effort by South Korean delegates, including Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, to promote Busan's vision. K-pop artists Psy and Kim Jun-su supported the bid with video messages, reinforcing Busan's cultural appeal.

The delegation, in its final pitch, met with BIE member state representatives in Paris, emphasizing the government and private sector's combined efforts to win the bid. Prime Minister Han, echoing President Yoon Suk Yeol, expressed commitment to the campaign until the last moment. President Yoon had recently returned from a European trip that included a final campaign push in France for Busan.

The race for the Expo host city is reportedly close, with Riyadh running a substantial marketing campaign. South Korean officials confirmed strategic shifts in support among BIE member states in the days leading up to the vote.

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