South Korea’s Prime Minister Han Duck-soo made a final push to woo support for South Korea to host the World Expo 2023 during his trip to Paris, his office said Wednesday.
The prime minister, who was in Paris from Sunday, met with 61 representatives from 50 countries to ask them to back Busan, the South Korean port city bidding to be host of the expo, with the vote less than two weeks away.
“Unlike sporting events like the Olympics where countries compete for medals, expositions should be a place for coalition and solidarity,” the prime minister said in a press release, after meeting with the representatives of the Bureau of International Expositions.
He said the South Korean government was committed to making the World Expo an opportunity to pay back the support and generosity it’s received from the international community in rebuilding the country in the years following the 1950-53 Korean War.
The World Expo in Busan will provide an opportunity to address common global challenges, including climate change and digital transformation, he added.
Busan is running against Rome and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to host the fair slated for 2030. The host country will be elected by BIE member states during the general assembly on Nov. 28.