South Korea’s Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Jang Young-jin, third from left, shakes hands with BIE Secretary General Dimitri Kerkentzes after submitting the bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan in Paris on Sept. 7. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Busan city will compete with Rome and Riyadh

South Korea has officially thrown its hat into the ring to host the World Expo in the country’s second-largest city Busan eight years later.

The country’s delegates handed in a candidature dossier to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), whose 170 members decide the host city.

Busan’s theme for the 2030 World Expo is “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future.”

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that BIE member countries would go through due diligence, including a field trip slated for early next year.

The BIE members will convene next November to pick the host city through a vote. Rome of Italy and Riyadh of Saudi Arabia are competing with Busan.

The country is pulling out all the stops to host the World Expo, which takes place every five years, with the latest event hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

For example, its bidding committee appointed the world-famous boy group BTS as its honorary ambassadors. Its seven members plan to hold a free concert in Busan next month to support the port city’s charge.

Of note is that the septet announced to stop playing as a team and seek solo careers earlier this year. But they opted to perform as a group again next month.

In addition, business tycoons are also ready to throw their weight. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was recently tapped as a presidential envoy to back the bid.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun also vows to support the 2030 Busan World Expo through the automaker’s network across the world.

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won is leading the bidding committee, together with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.