SEOUL, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo is set to visit France next week to participate in the voting for the 2030 World Expo as South Korea vies to host the mega event in its southeastern city of Busan, his office said Saturday.
The host country will be elected by the 182 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the body in charge of overseeing the quadrennial event, during its general assembly in Paris on Tuesday (local time). Busan is competing against Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Rome, Italy.
Han will depart for Paris on Sunday for a five-day stay and is scheduled to meet with delegates from BIE member states to make a last-minute pitch prior to the voting, according to the office.
During these final meetings, Han will articulate how South Korea intends to transform the World Expo into a platform addressing humanity's challenges, including war and conflict, the digital divide and climate change, his office said.
"I have worked tirelessly, catching up with other competing nations," Han said in a press release, emphasizing his commitment to bringing positive news.
South Korea's candidacy proposes hosting the event between May 1 and Oct. 31, 2030, under the theme "Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future," according to the BIE.
At the general assembly, each of the three candidates will present their Expo projects, followed by a secret ballot vote by government-appointed delegates representing member states. The voting result is expected early Thursday.
President Yoon Suk Yeol is currently in Paris for a three-day stay, making a final appeal for South Korea's bid. The meetings include dinner, lunch and an evening reception as Yoon seeks to strengthen the country's candidacy.
Source: Yonhap News Agency