Driving past the illuminated billboards of Korea’s major cities, you may have once come across an ad for something called the 2030 Busan World Expo.
Boasting a history of over 170 years, World Expos have long been known as platforms for innovation and cultural exchange. And in September 2022, South Korea submitted a formal bid to host this extraordinary event.
The vote for the 2030 Expo’s host country, organized by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), is set to take place in November 2023. Launched in 2021, the Bid Committee for World Expo 2030 Busan has been conducting promotional activities to raise awareness and rally support for Korea’s bid.
So what’s in it for Korea if we win?
The 2030 Busan World Expo is expected to receive visitors in the 30 millions, with an estimated revenue of about 5.6 trillion won.
In addition, Expos are prime venues for public diplomacy. Since government officials from all over the world will attend the Expo, this could be a chance for Korea to work out trade deals and strengthen international relations. This event holds significance even on a nongovernmental scale. Organizations and corporations – not to mention investors and entrepreneurs from all kinds of fields – will attend the event.
Hosting the 2030 World Expo in Busan would also facilitate development in the area’s infrastructure. The construction of additional roads, bridges and electrical infrastructure will contribute to the city’s physical redevelopment in addition to creating new jobs.
Speaking of jobs, the massive influx of visitors coming to Korea for the Expo will promote international and local tourism, further creating new job opportunities. The hospitality industry in particular, mainly comprising hotels, catering and tourism, will see a huge increase in profits during the Expo period.
Going from rags to riches in the span of just over a century, South Korea is living proof that even the bleakest situations can evolve into something amazing. This is a chance to showcase not just the beauty of Busan, but Korea as a whole to the rest of the world. Just as we beat the odds all those years ago, the country should rally together once more to achieve this great ambition.
By Lee Si-hyun, Sookmyung Girl’s Middle School