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S Korean FM voices support for Shanghai World Expo
2010. 15 March
Seoul's top diplomat Yu Myung- hwan voiced support Monday for the Shanghai World Expo, where South Korea will display the second biggest pavilion following the host China.
Yu, who will leave for Beijing later this week to meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi for talks, said visiting the venue of the event is a big part of his 7th visit to the country since taking office two years ago.
"The most important goal for the visit is to strengthen the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and express our support for the Shanghai World Expo," Seoul's foreign minister Yu said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
"The Shanghai Expo is, in one word, like "economic Olympics." Beijing's successful holding of the Beijing Olympics had a significant meaning of showing the world how developed China was. Hosting the Expo only two years after the Olympics is meaningful in that it links the Chinese economy to the world," Yu said.
He said the Expo, slated to take place from May 1 to October 31 this year, will add to already robust bilateral exchanges, with the expected number of up to one million South Korean tourists to Shanghai during the event helped by the designation of so-called "Visit China Year 2010" launched in Seoul this year.
The private sector, along with the government, is also showing interest in the Expo, with twelve South Korean business giants set to participate in the event, the minister said. South Korea, poised to host a similar event in 2012 in the southern city of Yeosu, hopes to share China's experiences in holding the Expo, he added.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is considering to attend the opening ceremony of the event at the invitation of China. Both countries have been one of the most important sources of inbound tourists for each other, with a total of 5.13 million exchanges of visits in 2008 and 4.54 million last year.—Xinhua