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Yeosu Citizens Confident; Yeosu’s Potential Confirmed

Posted April. 13, 2007 22:43,   

한국어

“Preparations have been incredible and well-done. They are very satisfactory.”

After the second day of evaluating Yeosu’s bid to host the 2012 International Exhibition, Carmen Sylvain, chairperson of the International Exhibition Bureau (BIE) Executive Committee said at a press conference on April 12, “We were able to confirm the confidence and capability of the central government, local authorities and Yeosu citizens.”

On the morning of this day, at the Hilton Hotel in Namhae, Gyeongnam Province, the seven-member delegation listened to a presentation regarding measures for accommodations. Afterwards, starting from 1:40 p.m., the inspectors boarded three helicopters and looked over the exposition venue, Yeosu Newport and Yeosu Industrial Complex.

Praise and Positive Comments-

At 3 p.m., the team of judges attended the opening ceremony of the Yeosu International Exhibition Public Relations Center in Hallyeo-dong, Yeosu. Afterwards, at a press conference starting at 3:30 p.m., the delegates used expressions such as “really,” and “very” to show great satisfaction in the preparations for the evaluation and Yeosu’s potential to host the event.

Ms. Sylvain said in the general review of the evaluation, “We have gained much confidence. The strong public support, welcome and enthusiasm that Yeosu citizens have shown us have been particularly enlightening.”

Mr. Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, BIE Secretary General, said, “The evaluation report and presentation were both well prepared.” He added, “When BIE member countries see this, they will know that everything is of the highest standard.”

BIE Brazil representative Castro strongly hinted at Korea possibly winning the bid by saying, “We have gained confidence (in Korea’s capability to host the event). Korea can very well become the winner.”

Concerns Have Turned to Expectations-

It is true that there were some issues that caused concern in this evaluation. One issue was that the industrial complex surrounding Yeosu contradicted the exposition’s theme, “The Living Ocean and Coast.”

But Ms. Sylvain cut this short and said, “No.” Rather, this was evaluated positively because “by personally looking around Yeosu’s surroundings by helicopter, not only did Yeosu city not try to hide their environmental problems, but this also showed that they are willing to tackle the problem head-on.”

In regards to transportation and accommodation measures, the committee said, “Although it is not yet complete, there are detailed development plans, and it is encouraging that some projects are already underway.”

As former Canadian ambassador to Morocco, which is a country competing against Yeosu to host the international exposition, Ms. Sylvain was asked whether this will play an influence on the decision of who will be bid winner. She eased concerns by answering, “I will be evaluating neutrally and there will be no influence whatsoever.”

BIE Hungary representative Laszlo Glatz said, “The fact that the theme was extended to allow inland countries like Hungary to participate as well was interesting.” He added, “Such factors will be considered when deciding the final venue.”

The BIE delegation has finished the on-site examination of Yeosu, and on April 13 will meet with director of the Cultural Heritage Administration and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and afterwards is scheduled to hold a departing press conference.



jefflee@donga.com shjung@donga.com