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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Fruitless Busan bid still enabled Korea Inc. to seed fresh opportunities

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SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, left, and Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung speak at the 173rd general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions in France on Tuesday evening. [YONHAP]
SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, left, and Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung speak at the 173rd general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions in France on Tuesday evening. [YONHAP]

Korean business organizations emphasized that Busan’s campaign for the World Expo 2030 served as an opportunity to demonstrate the country’s potential.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which played a core role in the campaign, said Korea’s unified effort “elevated Korea’s competitiveness and expanded Korea’s global network.”

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“There were countries that wanted partnerships with Korea that have a diverse portfolio ranging from materials, advanced technology and future energy solutions,” the chamber said in a statement.

“In the process, [Korean] companies enhanced their global competitiveness, explored new markets, which wasn’t possible during the Covid-19, diversified their supply chain and grabbed new business opportunities.”

The Federation of Korean Industries also noted the “one team” spirit formed during the campaign to host the event.

“It was an opportunity for Korea’s government as well as the business circle and the people to unite,” it said in a statement.

“Networking with various countries during the bidding process will also act as a steppingstone for Korea’s business to explore new markets.”

The Korea Enterprises Federation also said the efforts to host the event achieved “global economic and cultural exchange.”

The latest bidding involved unprecedented unified support from the business industry, where chiefs of the country’s biggest conglomerates and business organizations made an all-out effort to secure every possible vote for Busan.

Hyundai Motor Group, which was at the forefront of the campaign, said despite failure there were some benefits obtained from the 18-month process.

“In the process of asking BIE (Bureau International des Expositions) member states for their support, Hyundai Motor Group was able to push for cooperation in various fields such as businesses and CSR as well as build on sustainable relationships to elevate the overall competitiveness of the company,” Hyundai Motor said in a release Wednesday.

“It was also an opportunity for Hyundai Motor Group to introduce its state-of-the-art technology and future businesses to underdeveloped countries.”

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung stayed in Paris until the last moment when the winner to host the World Expo 2030 was announced on Tuesday in France.

Korea’s Busan lost to Riyadh by a large margin Tuesday, obtaining 29 votes, while Riyadh won 119 votes.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]