|An ad for Busan's bid to host the World Expo 2030 is on display in Paris in this June 22 file photo. Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy|
By Park Jae-hyuk
Typhoon Hinnamnor has forced Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon to scrap his scheduled visit to Paris on Monday, putting the brakes on his plan to convince members of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to vote for Korea's second-largest city to host the event.
According to Busan Metropolitan City, Park, who was part of the government delegation to submit an official bid to host World Expo 2030, returned from Seoul to assist and brace the city for potentially the most destructive typhoon in decades.
He was initially supposed to visit the BIE's headquarters in the French capital, along with trade ministry officials, in order to submit a document on Busan's plan for the World Expo 2030. He also planned to host events there to win the hearts of BIE member countries.
His planned trip, however, provoked concerns among citizens of Busan who are expected to suffer the most damage ever due to the approach of the massive typhoon.
Park, therefore, canceled his itinerary and tasked Shin Jae-hyun, the ambassador for Busan's international relations, with overseeing events in Paris in collaboration with the trade industry.
As the Busan mayor has been unable to visit Paris, the role of business leaders appears to be more important in the city's effort to host one of the world's largest international events.
According to industry officials, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will visit the U.K. and North American countries later this month as a special presidential envoy to support Busan's bid to host the World Expo 2030.
SK Group and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Chey Tae-won, who has led the private sector's efforts to help Busan's bid, is also said to be paying a visit to Japan this month to promote the Korean city.
Other conglomerate leaders were reportedly appointed as special presidential envoys to introduce Busan to various countries too.