In about 70 years, Busan has risen from the ashes of the Korean War to become the sixth-largest maritime logistics center in the world and a hub connecting countries all around the globe. As much as the themes proposed by all five candidates are regarding the future and innovation, it is time to reconsider the importance of the meaning Busan has on the World Expo 2030.
The primary purpose of Expos is to resolve global challenges together as a world and work towards a better future. Busan isn’t merely a large port city – it is a city with a short history of transforming from a poor town, overcrowded with refugees. Busan hosting the 2030 World Expo has an underlying importance: it is a symbol of collective development and a clear message of hope to other developing countries about their future, in contrast with any other candidates, where it will be unlikely for these ideas to be delivered.
It is undeniable that the 2030 Busan World Expo will have a significant and irreplaceable impact on society. Moreover, this will also have more practical importance for the world. The Bureau International Des Expositions defines World Expos as a mega-event to “improve humankind’s knowledge, take into account human and social aspirations and highlight scientific, technological, economic and social progress.” The 2030 Busan World Expo can fulfill these criteria better than any other candidates.
Among the possible host candidates, South Korea ranks the highest in terms of scientific, technological, economical and social progress. Developing at such a fast rate, this event can truly be a point in which the human race can take a massive leap toward the future, an opportunity which must not be overlooked. Furthermore, from the 2030 World Expo, Busan is expected to solve the aging society issue. South Korea as a whole is now facing a huge aging population problem, and Busan is not an exception.
Hosting this event is estimated to provide around 500,000 jobs, which is expected to make Generation Z return to Busan in search of work. This will not only benefit Busan, but is also likely to have a positive effect on many of South Korea’s trading partners. Busan is the sixth-largest port in the world, shipping goods to more than 500 ports. If the aging problem in Busan deteriorates at the current rate, it will likely lower the efficiency of the trading process due to the lack of laborers and organizers. It may even reach a point in which there could be financial loss for trading partners. To prevent this from occurring, it is crucial that the situation is resolved by hosting the Expo.
By Kim Claire Myung-jin, Chadwick International