The Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria has named Nigerian iconic artist Nike Okundaye as the goodwill ambassador for hosting of the 2030 Busan Expo.
This was revealed in press statement by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Federal Republic of Nigeria Kim Young Chae following an event held at the Nike Art Gallery on Wednesday August 10, 2022.
According to the statement, “The Republic of Korea’s candidature is based on the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future”, and if successful, the EXPO would take place in Busan’s North Port district between 1 May and 31 October 2030. In close partnership with the Korean Embassy, Nike will deepen and widen the support base for the Busan EXPO to her gallery visitors as well as extend her network of friends and patrons.
“As one of the ten largest economies in the world, Korea is a global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) powerhouse. Korea is leading the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with technologies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Smart Mobility. Korea is also a cultural powerhouse. K-culture, encompassing drama, movies, music, and food, has taken the world by storm, enabling Korea to become a global trendsetter in soft power.
“In addition, Korea has successfully transformed itself from a developing country into a developed country during the last 60 years. Although it is a divided country, Korea has been actively participating in global efforts to promote peace and harmony. Korea’s story is one of a remarkable transformation. Through hard work and perseverance, Korea learned many valuable lessons to share with the world.
“Busan, the candidate city, is Korea’s second-largest city and the largest port city with excellent infrastructure. The city has been a hub of transportation and logistics and a gateway at the intersection of the Eurasian continent and the Pacific Ocean. Busan represents the past, present, and future of Korea. It has played a crucial role in Korea’s growth, from one of the poorest countries receiving economic aid to a donor country. During the Korean War, the city was home to a million refugees. The Busan Spirit embodies the World EXPO values of education, innovation, and cooperation.
“It boasts a well-equipped infrastructure such as airports and high-speed railways as well as the world’s second-largest transshipment port and is easily accessible from anywhere. Busan holds unparalleled experiences and unrivaled expertise in hosting international conferences, events, and exhibitions such as the 2002 Asian Games, and the 2005 APEC Summit. With 40 million tourists visiting the city every year, Busan has been at the forefront of spreading K-culture and holding various cultural events such as the Busan International Film Festival, and Busan One Asia Festival.
“In conclusion, Busan truly represents and embodies the proposed theme of the World EXPO, “Transforming our World” and this global and mega city has full capacity to host the World EXPO and powerful potential to realize the ideal of the BIE and World EXPO. The Korean Embassy will campaign tirelessly to secure support the support of Nigeria until the selection day.
“With the conferment of the goodwill ambassador, Nike Okundaye will play a vital role in promoting the Republic of Korea and Busan in Lagos as well as Nigeria and West Africa until the voting day for the 2030 World Expo site selection scheduled for November 2023. The Korean Embassy and Nike Art Gallery will continue to promote cultural cooperation just as they co-hosted the Nigerian Female Art Exhibition held in March, this year.”
Nike Okundaye is one of Nigeria’s most well-known batik and Adire artists. She is a champion of supporting African artists and women, and has held exhibitions internationally.
She designed the Nigerian Pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany.
In June 2021, the Republic of Korea submitted a letter of candidature to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to organise World Expo 2030 in the city of Busan.