SK chief visits Japan to seek support for Busan Expo bid

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Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Chey Tae-won (left) poses for a photo with Matsumoto Masayoshi, president of the Kansai Economic Federation, in Japan on Thursday. (KCCI)

SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won, who is also chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, held meetings with Japanese political and business leaders, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, to ask for support from Tokyo to the candidacy of the South Korean port city of Busan to host the World Expo 2030.

Chey remained in Tokyo on Thursday and Friday, according to the KCCI – the country’s biggest business lobby – on Sunday.

On the first day, the head of KCCI met with Matsumoto Masayoshi, vice chairman of the Osaka World Expo 2025 promotion committee. Masayoshi is known to have played a key role in raising public awareness of the city’s bid. for the Expo.

“There was a lot of difficulty in getting Japan designated as the host of the Expo in the early stages, as the event was mainly initiated by the city government. However, Korea treats the Expo as a national project from the beginning, and Korea’s business tycoons actively promoting the bid will have a great promotional effect,” Matsumoto said at the meeting.

Chey stressed that Busan’s Expo bid should not be a one-time event, saying, “We will bring forth a new kind of Expo that will discuss common topics across generations and borders.”

Later that day, Chey also attended an Asia Business Counsel meeting. Launched in 2001, the forum aims to enhance mutual cooperation and friendship among CEOs of major Asian companies.

During the meeting, Chey met Kishida, who gave a keynote speech. It was the first time the Japanese prime minister had held a meeting with a South Korean chaebol leader since taking office in November last year.

During the meeting, the two leaders reportedly shared their views on outstanding issues including economic cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

KCCI added that the president also held meetings with key Japanese government officials in charge of the Osaka expo and asked them to join forces to help Busan host the 2030 expo.

At the end of his two-day trip to Japan, Chey traveled to the United States, where he is due to travel to New York and Washington to inspect local SK operations and conduct promotional activities for the bid for the United States. ‘Expo.

The Universal Exhibition is recognized as one of the three most important international events in the world along with the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Its economic impact is estimated at 61 trillion won ($43 billion).

In addition to Busan, Riyadh from Saudi Arabia and Rome from Italy have also made offers. The host city will be chosen by a secret ballot organized by 170 member countries of the Bureau International des Expositions in November next year.

By Lee Yoon-seo (yoonseo.3348@heraldcorp.com)

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