With less than a month to go before the summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum opens in Busan, the city is giving final touches to the preparations to make the event a success.
One of the most important preparations is the arrangement of venues for the summit. The most representative venues for the summit are the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) and the Nurimaru APEC House.
The first-day conference venue, BEXCO, a convention center in southern Busan, opened in September 2001, in time for the 2002 FIFA World Cup drawing. The ministerial meeting and senior officials’ meeting will also take place at the center located near the Haeundae Beach resort area. For the summit meeting, it has recently been given a facelift, including a new ceiling, floors and walls. About 500 bamboo and pines trees and 13,400 shrubs have been newly planted around the center. The international press center and broadcasting center will be established on the first floor of BEXCO.
The construction of Nurimaru APEC house, a venue for a less formal second-day session of the summit, has been recently completed on the outer tip of a small island linked to the port city. The Nurimaru is a combination of two Korean words – ‘nuri’ meaning the world and ‘maru’ meaning peak or summit.
The three-story, 3,000 square-meter building is expected to be the symbol of the APEC summit. It combines state-of-the art technology with the aesthetics of traditional Korean architecture.
Modeled in the image of a traditional Korean pavilion, the dome-shaped villa stands on 12 pillars and sustains its stylish glass-made exterior, which will provide guests with a beautiful backdrop of the pine-tree-covered island and the clean blue sea in front.
The roof of the building is covered with titanium-coated steel, designed to sustain constant shock from possible storms and earthquakes while being rustproof, a consideration important for its seaside location.
The third floor will be used as the conference hall, the second floor as the reception room and the first floor for media and event–support facilities.
Tight security surrounds the two main venues which are equipped with tight security solutions, controlled by a web of closed-circuit televisions, metal detectors, beam-sensors, tracking systems and bullet proof screens. Helmeted police are standing guard to foil any attempt at a terrorist attack.
Organizers say one of the most difficult aspects of preparing for the summit was allocating appropriate hotels to the participants. They have set aside 21 VIP hotel rooms for the heads of states who will attend the summit and about 6,700 hotel and motel rooms. They estimate that about 5,600 hotel rooms will be needed during the event period.
They also took various steps to solve the traffic problems of the venue areas during the APEC summit period. Cars and vans that hold fewer than 10 people will be subject to restrictions on roads. To facilitate the movement of official vehicles needed to support the event, the restrictions will be carried out from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Nov. 12 to Nov. 19. For the convenience of ordinary participants, free shuttle buses will operate between hotels and conference venues.
About 230,000 citizens will serve as volunteers and 900 fluent speakers of foreign speakers to offer guidance and translation services for delegates from various countries have been selected.