PM to visit France, Mozambique, Ghana to seek support for Expo bid

SEOUL– Prime Minister Han Duck-soo will visit France, Mozambique and Ghana this week to promote South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, his office said Sunday.

Han will leave for Paris on Monday to attend the 171st General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), an intergovernmental body in charge of overseeing the Expo.

He is scheduled to give a presentation at the assembly Tuesday, outlining the government’s vision to host the Expo in the southern port city of Busan and help produce solutions to various challenges facing humanity, including climate change, technological gaps and inequality, his office said.
He also plans to stress the government’s commitment to providing its full support to the event.

From Paris, the prime minister will travel to Mozambique on Wednesday for a two-day visit and meet with officials there to discuss expanding cooperation between the two countries.

From Thursday, Han will pay an official visit to Ghana for three days and also meet with officials there to discuss ways to increase business and other cooperation.

In both African nations, the prime minister is expected to continue to push for support for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.

South Korea submitted its official application to host the 2030 expo to the BIE in September. It is competing with such countries as Saudi Arabia and Italy.

Seoul’s business sector has been active in helping with the government’s bid to host the global event.

A delegation led by SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won will head to Paris this week to attend the 171st BIE General Assembly scheduled for two days from Monday, according to the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

The delegation comprises top officials, including Rhee In-yong, president of Samsung Electronics Co., and Kim Dong-wook, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Co.

During the visit, they plan to help enlist support for the government’s push to host the expo through meetings with delegates of other member states on the sidelines of the BIE gathering, the KCCI said.

Major business groups, including Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, Lotte and POSCO, have been running a joint committee to discuss cooperation on the government initiative. Their officials have reportedly visited around 70 countries in the last few months and asked for their support.

The World Expo, which takes place every five years, is regarded as one of three major international events, along with the Olympics and the World Cup. BIE member states will vote on the venue for the 2030 expo in November 2023.

Source: Yonhap News Agency