The Korea Herald


Korea aims to become 7th nation to host Olympics, World Cup, World Expo

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : April 4, 2023 - 17:36

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

South Korea could become the seventh country to host the three major international events, the Olympic Games, the World Cup and the World Expo, if it succeeds in its bid to host the World Expo in Busan in 2030.

Currently, France, the US, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan are the only six countries that have hosted all three international events.

In terms of the World Expo, South Korea would become the 12th country to host the global event.

Previously, the World Expo was held in 11 countries, including Belgium, France, the US, Haiti, Canada, Japan, Spain, Germany, China, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

South Korea, in the past, hosted two expos in Daejeon in 1993 and Yeosu in 2012. But both events were specialized expos, officially known as “recognized" rather than "registered exhibitions.”

Based on its experience hosting the two expos, the South Korean government is going all-out in its bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan, the government said.

The government currently expects the 2030 Busan World Expo, if held, will become the largest and most influential international event that the country can hold within the next one to two decades.

The World Expo, held every five years, usually runs for a six-month period, which is longer than recognized exhibitions that are held for around 3 months.

The World Expo is also bigger than the previous expos held in Daejeon and Yeosu, as the World Expo can be held across the whole country, whereas recognized exhibitions are limited to exhibition areas of 250,000 square meters.

The 2030 Busan World Expo is expected to be held across sites that are some 10 times bigger than the exhibition areas used for the previous two expos, according to the government.

The upcoming World Expo will also have greater economic effects when compared to the Olympic Games and the World Cup.

The Chinese government previously reported that the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, which drew some 73 million visitors, had a 3.49 times bigger economic impact than the Beijing Olympics held in 2008.

The South Korean government anticipates that a total of 34.8 million people will visit Busan, creating 61 trillion won ($46.3 billion) of economic value. The international event will also open some 500,000 job positions, the government added.

New buildings and infrastructures that will be built for the 2030 Busan World Expo will also become cultural and historical heritage, the government said. Busan could also use the new infrastructures to accelerate its development in the future, it added.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the country aims to upgrade its international status by introducing innovative technologies relating to artificial intelligence as well as smart city and smart port infrastructure.