Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh was chosen Tuesday to host the 2030 World Expo following its bid at the 173rd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions.
Members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions selected Saudi Arabia’s center as the host for the 2030 World Expo with a majority of 119 out of 165 votes during a private meeting held in the suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Regarding Busan not being chosen as the host for the 2030 Expo, the South Korean presidential office noted, “Despite combined efforts from the public and private sectors, the outcome didn’t align with the optimistic expectations we had set.”
As South Korea competed to host the 2030 World Expo, their presentation featured key political and industry figures like Prime Minister Han Duck Soo, Busan Mayor Park Hyung Joon and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Choi Tae Won. Global figures, including former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and Busan Expo promotional ambassador Na Seung Yeon also took the stage. Notably, famous Korean celebrities like Squid Game star Lee Jung Jae and singer PSY played a big role in the final presentation.
However, criticism has emerged regarding the final presentation video produced by the Busan Expo Organizing Committee. Lasting about 20 minutes, the presentation concluded with a 33-second video that received online backlash for being poorly executed and lacking in substance.
The video showcased K-pop sensations like PSY performing his mega-hit “Gangnam Style,” former TVXQ member Kim Junsu and more saying the slogan “Your Choice.” However, online critics found it “embarrassing” due to its low production quality, lack of content, and the outdated use of PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” released back in 2012.
Criticism has intensified due to the choice of “Gangnam Style” as the background music, considering its age and the evolution of K-pop over the past decade. Many argue that the use of this particular song does not align with the image needed for an international event like the World Expo.
Citizens have expressed their disappointment, with comments such as “Is the expo taking place in Gangnam?” and “Even a presentation by college students would have been better.” Some even raised concerns about the event’s appropriateness and questioned the allocation of public funds.
Take a look at what some of the South Korean viewers thought of the presentation video.
부산 엑스포 유치 기원 어쩌구는 몇년 전부터 본거같은데 ㅆㅂ 최종 pt를
나라도 이지랄로 하는데 나도 자신감 가져야겠다
— 거제관광공사 시즌투 (@mysuperstarNson) November 28, 2023
“Busan’s been talking about hosting the Expo for ages, and then we get this final presentation. If that’s the government’s A-game, sign me up for a Nobel Prize already.”
부산 엑스포 최종 PT 영상에는 팔아먹을 수 있는 연예인만 다 팔아먹고 실제 '부산' 이란 건 거의 보여주지도 않은 것 같다.
사우디 영상이랑 너무 비교됨..
— Jake Seo (@JakeSeo8) November 29, 2023
“In the final presentation video for the Busan Expo, it seems like they’re only showcasing celebrities they can capitalize on, and there’s hardly any depiction of the actual ‘Busan.’ So embarrassing… Our video doesn’t measure up to Saudi’s video.”
부산이 유치하려는 엑스포 pt에 대뜸 ‘강남’스타일부터 나오는 것도 참.. 생각이란 걸 안 하나
— Johann Sebastian Bach (@hambachsteak) November 29, 2023
“It’s quite something that in Busan’s attempt to host the Expo, they randomly throw in ‘Gangnam’ Style in the presentation… Seems like they didn’t give it much thought.”
우리를 놀라게 한 건 1차 투표에서 165표중 29표밖에 못 얻으면서 끝까지 "거의 따라왔다" 말하는 현실감 부족, 그리고 온통 Kpop으로 도배한 최종 PT. 리야드에 비해 부족한 하드웨어에 다들 수고는 많이 했지만 패배 원인에 대해선 냉철한 반성 필요한 듯
— slow (@slow22c) November 29, 2023
“What really got us scratching our heads is saying we “almost caught up” when we only snagged 29 out of 165 votes in the first round. And the final presentation was like a non-stop K-pop party. Sure, we all worked hard despite the lack of resources compared to Riyadh, but maybe it’s time for some serious reflection on why we fell short.”