2017 Gyeongju culture expo to kick off in Ho Chi Minh City

Updated at Saturday, 24 Dec 2016, 18:58
The Hanoitimes - South Korea will hold a cultural expo in Vietnam`s commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City next year.
South Korea will hold a cultural expo in Vietnam's commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City next year that will show off cultural exchanges between the two countries, and feature an amalgam of culture and economy, organizers said Friday. 
The Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017, co-hosted by two local governments, the organizing committee and the Vietnamese city government, will run for 25 days in November. 
The Gyeongju World Expo, which began in 1998 and was put on by the North Gyeongsang provincial government and the Gyeongju city government, will be the third of its kind to be held overseas following ones in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, in 2006, and Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013. 
Gyeongju, 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul, was the capital of the ancient Korean kingdomof Silla (57 B.C.-A.D. 935), which ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city. 
This year's event will feature 30 programs that combine the traditional cultures of the two countries with information and communication technology, and bring to light the values of the world's historical and cultural heritages in Gyeongju and Vietnam under the theme of "The Exhibition on Civilization Exchanges through Old Sea." 
Programs will include the opening ceremony, a parade, a variety of performances, a special exhibition on the two countries' cultural exchanges and an event involving South Korean residents in the Southeast Asian country. 
Venues for the programs are Ho Chi Minh City's major tourist attractions and its historic places, such as the City Hall plaza, the Reunification Palace and the Opera House, with the expo expected to draw as many as 3 million visitors from South Korea and elsewhere. 

Organizers have selected Ho Chi Minh City as the stage for the event as it offers a good traffic network and is home to many South Korean firms. 
They also plan to hold the event in Hanoi and Danang in anticipation of next year's summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in November in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. 
To prepare for the event, the organizing committee signed a letter of understanding on cooperation in the co-hosting of the expo with the North Gyeongsang provincial government, the Gyeongju municipality and the Ho Chi Minh city government in September. It will set up the joint organizing committee with the partners in January before sending a delegation to the Vietnamese city. 
North Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kwan-yong, chief of the organizing committee, hopes that the expo "will expand cultural exchanges between South Korea and Vietnam to economic and industrial cooperation between the two countries." 
Cuong Vu