Harare (New Ziana) – South Korea on Wednesday formally requested Zimbabwe to support its bid to host the 2030 World Expo in its second largest city Busan.
The South Korean government dispatched a special envoy to Harare, Ho Sung Song who met Acting President, General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices on Wednesday.
Emerging from the meeting, Song, who is also chief executive officer of automobile manufacturer KIA Corporation said; “Korea, Busan, wants to host the 2030 World Expo and we respectfully asked the Acting President to support Korea.”
Discussions between the two, Song said, also focused on economic cooperation in areas including mining.
In response, Acting President Chiwenga said Zimbabwe took note of Korea’s bid to host the World Expo from 1 May to 31 October 2030.
“I am aware that other countries are also bidding to host the expo, notably Italy, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. On that score, I wish to express our confidence in the Republic of Korea’s capacity to host an event of such magnitude,” he said.
“Let me assure you that Zimbabwe will consider the request for support to host the 2030 World Expo by the Republic of Korea, based on its merit. May I also add that these principles have always guided Zimbabwe’s foreign policy and cooperation with other members in the community of nations.”
Acting President Chiwenga said the holding of World Expos in different continents and countries opened opportunities for all countries to benefit from such events.
“It is in tandem with the principles of multilateralism and equal opportunities for all member states,” he said.
The last exposition, Expo Dubai 2020, was held in the United Arab Emirates from October last year to March this year.
Expos are global events designed to showcase and integrate ideas and technologies to find solutions to fundamental problems facing humanity, and thus serve as vehicles for the host country’s national promotion.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) organizes the expos, with 170 member countries voting for each expo’s host country.
The host of the 2030 World Expo will be selected by the BIE member states in late 2023.
Of the five original bids to host, Busan and Riyadh have emerged as the top two contenders.
Russia withdrew its submission over politicization regarding its special military operation in Ukraine, while Ukraine’s bid remains questionable given the ongoing conflict.
Commenting on cooperation between South Korea and Zimbabwe, Acting President Chiwenga said these were cordial and were not only at government-to-government level, but also extended to the two country’s private sectors.
“Let me express our satisfaction with the cordial relations existing between Zimbabwe and the Republic of Korea, as evidenced by the various collaborations between the two countries. However, the level of trade between the two countries is still low. I look forward to enhanced cooperation and heightened activity in this area.”