South Korea invites Lithuania to present the beauty of the Baltic coast to the world2010-11-17
Minister of Environment Gedminas Kazlauskas met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Korea Geun-Hyeong Yim and First Secretary Song Bum Shin on November 12. South Korean diplomats have also visited other ministries and the Office of the Prime Minister. The key objective of the visit was to meet with responsible Lithuanian officials and exchange opinions about the potential participation of Lithuania at EXPO 2012, which will be held from 12 May 2012 to 12 August 2012 in the South Korean city of Yeosu.
Lithuania received an official invitation to participate at the Expo in May 2009; however, no decision was made at that time. Following the successful participation of Lithuania at the world exposition in Shanghai where Lithuania’s pavilion was visited by almost six million visitors, the Koreans seek to get Lithuania interested in participating at the future EXPO; according to them, the theme of the exhibition “The Living Ocean and Coast” is extremely relevant to all countries with the open sea access. Lithuania would have another opportunity to consolidate its status as a maritime state, to promote the Curonian Spit and other resorts on the Baltic Seal coast, Klaipėda Seaport, to call attention to the need to ensure safe exploitation of D-6 oil field, and to present the unique nature and the distinctive culture of the seacoast region to the world.
South Korea will host EXPO for the second time. The first EXPO in South Korea was held nineteen years ago, in 1993, in the city of Daejeon, and Lithuania, who just recently regained its independence, was among the participants. So far, more than 70 countries have already confirmed their participation at EXPO 2012 Yeosu. It would be the eleventh world exposition for Lithuania. The Ministry of Environment has organised the presentation of Lithuania in similar expositions in Lisbon (1998, the theme “The Oceans: A Heritage for the Future”), Aichi, Japan (2005, the theme “Nature’s Wisdom”), Zaragoza (2008, the theme “Water and Sustainable Development”) and Shanghai (2010, the theme “Better City, Better Life”).
Minister of Environment Gedminas Kazlauskas thanked for the invitation and said that Lithuania’s participation in such important forums is realistic once the financial issue is settled. As compared to the recently ended exposition in China for which Lithuania assigned over ten million litas and received almost six million visitors, the South Korean exposition will be twice as short (its duration will only be three months), while the exposition space allotted to the countries will be four times smaller; thus, the equipment and running costs will be lower, and less staff will be needed.
It was emphasised that South Korea was interested in strengthening economic and cultural cooperation with Lithuania, and that the following year will mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Ministry of Environment information, 2191869
17 November 2010