English PT to host Busan Expo at BIE General Assembly
“Busan, Complex Crisis Response Solution Platform”
Olympic, World Cup, Expo Ready Countries
President Yoon Suk Yeol said at a general meeting of the International Expo Organization (BIE) on the 20th (local time), “Korea has invested perfectly to prepare for the best World Expo (Expo). “Korea will make the most perfect expo in history,” he said, appealing for support for the 2030 Expo in Busan. As Korea and Busan are prepared countries with strengths in modern history, contribution to the world community, and history of hosting major international events, the intention is to change the paradigm for the future by drawing solidarity from the international community.
President Yoon made the remarks in English at the 172nd International Exposition Organization (BIE) General Assembly 2030 Expo 4th Competition Presentation (PT) held in Isiremullino, France, later in the day. President Yoon, who became a competitive PT, actively promoted the justification for Busan to host the expo, the goal of Korea to achieve with citizens around the world, and the possibility of success through the history of hosting various international events.
In particular, singer Psy (real name Park Jae-sang), Jin Yang-kyo, a professor at Hongik University’s Graduate School of Architecture and City, and Lee Soo-in, CEO of Enuma, who oversaw the master plan for the Busan Expo, also started PT. Karina, the leader of the girl group aespa, and vocalist Jo Su-mi also asked for support for the Busan Expo through an intermediate video.
◆ Busan, Complex Crisis Response Solution Platform… “Busan is ready”
President Yoon, who took the podium, said, “Busan is a gateway to the Eurasian continent and a city moving toward the ocean. After defining it as a city of challenge and a city of the future, it will be a solution platform to cope with uncertainties and complex crises such as war and terrorism, digital wealth gap, and climate crisis faced by the international community.
It also introduced the aspect of Korea, which was transformed from a country that received aid after the Korean War in 1950 to a country that supports 1,258 official development assistance (ODA) projects. In particular, President Yoon said, “Korea will share its development experience with the international community through the ‘Busan Initiative’ and take the lead in solving the problems facing mankind,” adding, “In addition, the Busan Expo will implement a cultural expo.” “The diversity of all cultures will be respected and all members will be treated equally,” he promised.
Promising sustainable peace and prosperity for future generations, he also emphasized, “Through the Busan Expo, young people around the world will learn to cooperate together as a human community.” When the 2030 World Expo (Expo) is held in Busan, it also promised to support the largest participation in the history of more than 110 member countries. President Yoon explained, “It will be an exhibition where all countries can express their own culture, tradition, and technology to their fullest.”
It also actively promoted the fact that Korea can successfully host the Expo through its experience of carrying out various international events. “Korea has already gained enough experience through two recognition fairs held in Daejeon in 1993 and Yeosu in 2012,” President Yoon said. “Korea has also held mega events such as the 1988 Summer Olympics, the 2002 World Cup, and the 2018 Winter Olympics.” We are a prepared candidate country,” he stressed.
President Yoon said, “The 2030 Busan Expo will be remembered as an expo that changed our perspective from the logic of competition to the value of solidarity,” introducing examples of the 1851 London Expo and the 1900 Paris Expo 2000 contributed to the British Industrial Revolution, cultural spread and natural environment. In addition, “Busan is ready. We are United.” “We are all one,” he said. “Let’s change the world together and move forward to a better future.” “Let’s meet in Busan in 2030,” he said.
◆ From K-pop and K-education to K-video…President of BIE in ‘K’
As Korea’s PT began, Karina appeared as a representative host of future generations in the PT opening video. “You are the future of the Earth,” Karina said. “For the future, judge ideas for you and decide which ideas are best. “Our participants are here,” he said, introducing PT speakers.
When Psy (real name Park Jae-sang), who imprinted K-pop around the world with “Gangnam Style,” was the first of the four speakers to take the stage, delegates from each country cheered. Psy said, “When I stay in Paris, I remember flash mobbing 20,000 people with my song ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012 at ‘Trocadero Square’ facing the Eiffel Tower. “We, who speak different languages, united at the big event,” he said. “Like that performance, I believe the 2030 Busan World Expo will bring us all together.”
It was followed by a video of Dominic Perot’s support for the Busan Expo, and Professor Jin was the second speaker to emphasize the justification for the bid by connecting Bukhang, the venue for the Busan Expo, with “History of Busan.” Professor Jin said, “North Port used to be the busiest international port in Korea, but now it is the place where abandoned buildings and abandoned machines stay,” adding, “Our plan (through the expo) is to turn the remnants of old industrialization into a space for sustainable life.” In this regard, the design concept of the 2030 Busan Expo Fair was introduced as “Re-Earth,” or “Earth again.” In the PT interim video, Cho Soo-mi emphasized the various benefits that participating countries will reap at the Busan Expo.
Lee, CEO of Enuma, a social venture that provides education to vulnerable children such as developing countries, the disabled, and multicultural families, said, “To overcome obstacles, we must share our efforts and humanity, including the government, businesses, and entrepreneurs.”
◆ To promise the future, promise, reward, and solidarity, Mr. and Mrs. came forward in person
President Yoon reportedly began preparing for the fourth PT, which is considered a watershed for the 2030 Expo, right after the BIE due diligence team visited Korea in April. A senior presidential official said, “We have confirmed that President Yoon will attend and announce the PT in person from the beginning of the preparation for this general meeting,” adding, “There is no principle that government officials must do PT, but it is very meaningful for the president to announce it in person.”
Officials at the presidential office said that they had been reading English announcements for about 14 hours from shortly after taking off from Seongnam Seoul Airport on the 19th to the landing of Paris Orly Airport. The announcement was also reportedly drafted by senior staff members and revised by MZ generation administrators and President Yoon together, just like during a state visit to the U.S. in April. In particular, President Yoon focused on delivering simple words that are easy to deliver as delegates from around the world gather at the BIE General Assembly. President Yoon also had two rehearsals at the hotel venue where his local accommodation is located on the morning of the day of PT.
President Yoon’s wife, Kim Gun-hee, also jumped into hosting the 2030 Busan Expo. Mrs. Kim attended the “Watching the Busan Expo Exhibition of Local Foreign Journalists” held at the Korean Cultural Center in France later in the day. Mrs. Kim said, “Korea is hot, but our Busan is even hotter,” and asked for support, “I hope you will pay a lot of attention to Korea and Busan in the future and give a lot of love until the Busan Expo is successful.”
The prime minister of Italy, a candidate country, also wrote an English PT…Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman is also on his way to Paris
Saudi Arabia, which was the first to do PT, emphasized a huge infrastructure with a strong “oil dollar” by putting high-ranking officials in charge of Expo-related affairs such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Investment, but promised to implement an eco-friendly expo. They said they would make the 2030 Riyadh Expo a “carbon negative” beyond carbon neutral, and introduced that they are operating exhibition halls with solar energy, reducing food waste, and developing strategies to ensure recycling.
Saudi Arabia, which has been criticized by the international community in terms of human rights, has also presented the “principles of equality, inclusion, and sustainability” as its core spirit, including ensuring mobility for the disabled and guaranteeing the world’s highest level of labor rights. Among the Saudi speakers, Princess Lima Bintbandar Al Saud, the great-granddaughter of the first Saudi king, the first female ambassador to the United States in Saudi history, and an advocate of women’s rights, stood out. Saudi Arabia, which is often criticized for its lack of respect for women’s rights due to gender discrimination, set up two female directors in charge of landscaping and creative arts at the Royal Commission in Riyadh on the stage, and the speaker’s gender ratio was 3:3. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who is visiting Paris, did not directly participate in the PT on the day, but appeared in pictures to reveal his presence.
The last Italian speaker to take the stage was Italian Prime Minister Jorja Meloni. He said he wants to hold an expo in Rome, where brilliant history and innovative future technologies coexist while doing PT in English, just like President Yoon. Considering that Rome is a latecomer compared to Busan and Riyadh, Prime Minister Meloni said, “Both Italians and Italians want Rome to host the 2030 Expo,” stressing, “We support it at the national level.”
Italy, like Saudi Arabia, promised an eco-friendly expo. It said it will be transformed into the largest solar power plant ever by setting up clean energy production facilities at each Expo exhibition hall and operating buildings with that energy. Italy presented unique speakers such as a 10-year-old girl and the first female astronaut in Italian history, and Russell Crowe, the main character of the movie Gladiator, delivered a video message, drawing the most attention. He became the “Roman honorary ambassador” for his connections to films set in ancient Rome, and appealed for support as “Roman is the greatest capital of the world: a city that has always reached out to all mankind.”