South Korea’s Busan recruits BTS, Squid Game stars in World Expo bid
By Andrés Sánchez Braun
Busan, South Korea, Sep 21 (EFE).- K-pop sensation BTS and actors from the popular TV series Squid Game have been recruited to represent the city of Busan for its candidature for the World Expo 2030, an event that is expected to boost the development of the city while bringing technological solutions for the climate crisis.
The contest for hosting the event has become an official state matter both for central and local governments that have united in pushing their bid with a huge promotional campaign to gain as many votes possible in the International Bureau of Expositions (BIE) and they are sparing no expenses to do so.
As ambassadors for the candidature, BTS will offer a concert on October 15, the first one since the band announced a break for pursuing personal projects and probably the last before they begin to serve their military service which will end in 2024. The show is to be their biggest ever in their country, with over 100,000 people expected to attend.
The concert will be the first of many tests for Busan.
Logistics are one of the major strengths of the city that every year organizes the biggest film festival of Asia, the BIFF, and has hosted the Asian Games.
If selected as the winner by the BIE, the city would open a 3.44 million square meter space for the event at their main port.
The city is also planning to build a second airport by 2030, a plan that is currently under review, said Lee Seong-kweun, Busan vice mayor for economic affairs.
In a bid to reassure those concerned about the environmental impact of such large events, local authorities said that it would be the first World Expo completely focused on climate change under the slogan “Transforming our world, sailing towards a better future.”
“What happened this summer in Seoul is not a local phenomenon, it is proof that there is a global climate crisis. We want to offer solutions for this situation,” said vice president Lee, in reference to record rainfall and flooding in the country’s capital that killed at least 20.
The contest presents an opportunity for Busan’s development and growth.
As of today, around 26 million people live in Seoul, more than half of the country’s population.
The capital also pulls in the bulk of investments, which according to Lee poses an “existential crisis” for regions outside the financial hub.
World Expos are held every five years with a duration of six months and attract millions of visitors from all over the world.
The race to host the 2030 event will be between Busan, Riyadh, and Rome.
The winner is to be announced by the BIE in December 2023.EFE