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Korea gears up for Yeosu Expo

Feb. 8, 2012 - 16:07 By Shin Hyon-hee
More than 300 representatives from 101 countries and nine multinational organizations gathered on Wednesday in Seoul to ensure smooth preparations for the 2012 Yeosu Expo three months ahead of its opening.

Under the theme “Living Ocean and Coast,” the participant countries and organizations will showcase their diverse marine development and advancement of oceanic technology on the southern shore of the Korean Peninsula from May 12 to Aug. 12.

The 93-day event will focus on oceans and their potential to tackle diverse climate and environmental challenges facing mankind in the 21st century.
Yeosu Expo organizing committee chief Kang Dong-suk (second from right), secretary-general of the Bureau of International Exhibition Vicente Loscertales (center), and other participants clap during the opening ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday to review the overall preparation process of the maritime event to be held in Yeosu in May. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

The Expo’s steering committee hosted a three-day meeting in Seoul and Yeosu to review the overall preparation process and introduce guidelines for 11 issues including security, lodging, transportation and the establishment and operation of pavilions. The attendees also exchanged their views and made suggestions for improvements.

“The collaboration between Korea and participating countries and international bodies is the key to the Expo’s success,” said Kang Dong-suk, chief of the organizing committee.

The Expo, the first here since the 1993 Daejeon Expo, is forecast to attract some 8 million visitors from around the world, according to the committee. It could generate about 12.2 trillion won ($10.9 billion) worth of production and create about 5.7 trillion won in added value, as well as 80,000 jobs.

Construction of facilities is around 93 percent complete. A bullet-train route shortened access to the site to less than three hours from Seoul. New highway connections have cut travel times from all parts of the country. Airline and cruise services also are being launched to accommodate international visitors.

Vicente Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau of International Exhibition, a Paris-based intergovernmental body created to supervise global fairs, told reporters that the Expo will provide meaningful experiences for visitors and help boost Korea’s brand value.

The list of 106 participant countries includes China, Japan, the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Libya, Nigeria and Israel. Nine international bodies are also joining the program, including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

By Shin Hyon-hee (