Congratulations, Yeosu

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Congratulations, Yeosu

It’s a dream come true for the people of South Jeolla: Yeosu will host the 2012 World’s Fair.
Yeosu beat Tangier of Morocco to host the 2012 Expo at the 142nd General Assembly meeting of the Bureau of International Exhibitions headquarters in Paris on Tuesday morning Korean time.
It isn’t just the people of Yeosu and South Jeolla who are celebrating. The whole of the country erupted in joy when they learned the news.
This victory helps make up for previous disappointments. Yeosu was edged out by Shanghai in 2002 in a close contest for the 2010 Expo, and Pyeongchang lost in its bid for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games earlier this year.
So news of Yeosu’s victory is welcome, and we would like to congratulate the people of Yeosu and all the organizers who worked on this project for the past 500 days.
The expo is the venue for sharing technological innovations and visions for the future with the global community.
It’s considered one of the three biggest international events. The Olympic Games and the World Cup are the other two global events that turn the world’s attention to the host city and country.
Korea should also be proud because few countries have had the good fortune to host all three events. Korea is now one of those countries.
This achievement underlines our national strength, and at the same time serves to upgrade our status in the world.
However, succeeding in winning the bid to host the event is not the end of the story. Starting today and continuing for the next four and a half years, a great deal of planning and preparation will be needed.
It should also be noted that the Expo is not a one-off event, but a perfect opportunity for long-term regional development, too.
In keeping with the theme of the Yeosu Expo, “Living Ocean and Coast,” in which the focus is on environmentally friendly ways to develop the oceans, we need a thorough plan to develop Yeosu, South Jeolla and the entire southern coast of the Korean Peninsula.
The economic benefits reaped from hosting such a large-scale international event are expected to be enormous. It will lead to production of an estimated 10 trillion won ($10.8 billion), create an added value of 4.7 trillion won and generate 90,000 new jobs.
Of course, these figures only apply if the expo is successful. For that reason, we need a fresh start.
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