[Letter to the editor]Expo windfall
Koreans rejoiced at the news that the city of Yeosu won the bid to host the 2012 World Expo. I expect that the host of the exposition will generate 10.3 trillion won($11.2 million) worth of products and will create 90,000 jobs. It will be a huge boost to the Korean economy. In particular, the maritime distribution industry anticipates a brisk market.
Korea is a peninsula surrounded by seas on three sides. The country is endowed with gifts of nature to become a hub of maritime distribution in East Asia, as well as the world.
But the reality tells different stories. Except for the Port of Busan, which ranks as the fifth-largest port in the world according to the volume of container shipping, there is no other Korean port in the top 30. China has eight ports that rank in the top 30. Singapore Port and Hong Kong Port are vying for the top spot. The index tells that Korea is far behind in the race to become a hub of the Northeast Asian region for maritime distribution.
I propose that the government and the maritime distribution industry make Gwangyang Port; adjacent to Yeosu, jump to the list of the world’s top 10 ports, with Yeosu’s hosting of the world exposition providing good momentum. Gwang-yang Port can be connected with the Port of Busan, which would double the efficiency of shipping.
The government has been investing to develop Gwangyang Port as a container shipping pier, but the port is not able to gain international recognition. To upgrade the port to world-class, both the government and the civic sector must work harder to increase the volume of goods transported. The government has to make efforts to entice distribution companies near the port. We in the distribution industry will do our best to develop the port as a competitive one in the global market by investing more.
The Yeosu expo will give us a chance to prove our technology and capacity in maritime distribution. I hope the exposition becomes a big success.
Lee Kook-dong, president of Korea Port Logistics Association