World Road Congress runs for 5 days at COEX

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World Road Congress runs for 5 days at COEX

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The VIP delegation for the 25th World Road Congress, which kicked off Monday at COEX in southern Seoul, takes a commemorative photograph. Some 3,000 experts from 100 countries are taking part in the five-day congress that runs until Friday to tackle how to better develop road infrastructure. [PARK SANG-MOON]

The 25th World Road Congress kicked off in Seoul Monday hosting discussions on how to make a better use of existing roads and how to develop them in the future.

The largest international conference in the field of road transportation will be held until Friday at COEX in southern Seoul with about 3,000 experts from 100 different countries. Through this event, Korea will not only share its tips on how to develop road infrastructure but also offer a forum in which developed and developing countries can exchange road strategies.

The move is in line with the conference’s theme for this year, “Roads and Mobility ? Creating New Value from Transport.”

“The remarkable economic development of Korea started with road construction [including] the foundation laid by the Gyeongbu Expressway,” said Oscar de Buen Richkarday, President of the World Road Association, in an opening ceremony Monday.

“Korea today has the cutting-edge road technology, including super long-span bridges and smart highway technologies and I hope this congress will provide a good opportunity [for participants] to experience the [advanced] technology including KTX (express train).”

Korea hosts a session called “Roads in Korea” today to demonstrate how this country has developed technologies and how it will bring them into use globally. There will also be 17 technical committee sessions and 14 special sessions.

To support and encourage experts to come up with new ideas for roads, Korean President Park Geun-hye sent a video message.

“Roads don’t just function as a transportation method now,” said Park. “They should extend their territory and create new values for the future.

“We need to build roads that are incorporated with advanced Information and Communications Technologies and build an international road network at the same time because roads are the most basic national infrastructure that can bring economic development.”

The World Road Association also honored with its Piarc Prize 2015 experts who submitted research papers. Kenneth Yamu of Papua New Guinea won a prize for his work in the category of “sustainable development,” detailing how he struggled to go to school or get to a hospital when he was young due to his country’s poor road system.

“It is very important to continue further implementing new technologies for the next generation,” Yamu said.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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