The Geumsan World Ginseng Expo 2017 will be held with a theme of “Ginseng, Root of Life-Soaring Toward the World Through Science and Culture” at the Geumsan County, South Chungcheong Province, starting September 22.
The third Geumsan Ginseng Expo will be organized by South Chungcheong Province and Geumsan County, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The Geumsan Ginseng Expo Organizing Committee hopes to attract up to 3 million visitors with an investment of 16.1 billion won. Some excerpts of an interview with Geumsan County Mayor Park Dong-cheul follow:
Question: What is the significance of the 2017 Ginseng Expo?
Answer: To differentiate this year’s event from the two expos in the past, we will concentrate on upgrading the global brand of Korean ginseng. Based on a history of 1,500 years, Geumsan, which has outstanding natural conditions to grow ginseng, is not only a production and trading center for fresh ginseng in Korea but also a processing and distribution center for ginseng. With rich experiences and know-how in hosting numerous ginseng festivals and ginseng expos in 2006 and 2011, Geumsan is well-positioned to host the 2017 Geumsan World Ginseng Expo with great success.
Being the third expo, the 2017 Geumsan Ginseng Expo will seek to level up its international status as a global ginseng expo. In addition, the expo will try to enhance its future value. Of particular note, we will try to expand the usage of ginseng into new areas, such as fashion, design and animation which means that we will target the “Sixth Industrial Expo.”
Q: Could you review the previous runs of the Geumsan World Ginseng Expo?
A: The first Ginseng Expo was launched in 2006 with the aim of turning Geumsan Ginseng into a world-class brand with high-level international competitiveness and improving the ginseng production and distribution environment of Korea. The two expos produced great success in 2006 and 2011.
The World Ginseng Expo Geumsan, which was held under the slogan, “Ginseng, Root of Life,” is the world’s top health event focusing on ginseng, nature, wellness and the future. A wide range of academic, trade, exhibition, performance and experience programs have been launched since the first expo.
For the 2006 World Ginseng Expo, an investment of KRW 13 billion was made with visitors totaling 1.9 million. The expo generated 3.3 billion won in revenue. With the successful hosting of the event, Geumsan secured its status as the center of ginseng farming and the global hub of ginseng production.
In 2011, 13.5 billion won were invested into the event, which attracted 2.62 million visitors and generated 4.7 billion won in revenue. It not only helped invigorate the local economy, but also laid the groundwork for the globalization of Geumsan ginseng. The World Ginseng Expo Geumsan has became a meaningful milestone in the goal of advancing the Korean ginseng industry and its brand image.
Geumsan emerged as the “Mecca of Ginseng”
Moreover, the Ginseng Expo contributed to advancing the
overall development including social infrastructure of Geumsan County, while helping to revive the local economy. We will continue to step up our efforts to turn Geumsan ginseng into the global top brand..
Q: Could you say that Geumsan has now emerged as the “Mecca of Ginseng”?
A: The 2017 World Ginseng Expo Geumsan will provide another opportunity to prove the excellence of Geumsan ginseng and raise global recognition of its health benefits. Geumsan, which has now emerged as the “Mecca of the Ginseng Industry” and laid the cornerstone for the revival of the ginseng industry through the previous expos, will be reborn as the” City of Ginseng Expo” and contribute to the promotion of health for people around the globe.
Q: Geumsan ginseng was registered as the “important national agricultural heritage No.5” by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in March 2015. What is the significance of this action?
A: Based on a ginseng history of 1,500 years, Geumsan has become a distribution center with up to 70% of Korean ginseng produced here. It is significant that the Geumsan ginseng agriculture was designated as the “important national agricultural heritage No.5.” Geumsan County will take systematic measures to promote ginseng as the global agricultural heritage.
Q: What is Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems?
A: In order to safeguard and support the world’s agricultural heritage systems, in 2002 FAO started an initiative for identification and the dynamic conservation of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS). This GIAHS Initiative, which is now GIAHS Program, promotes public understanding, awareness, national and international recognition of Agricultural Heritage systems.
Q: What action will you take to promote Geumsan ginseng as a globally important agricultural heritage?
A: The Geumsan ginseng agriculture was designated as the “important national agricultural heritage No.5” by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. As a result, Geumsan ginseng was given a good opportunity to be listed as the important global agricultural heritage.
On June 16, 2015, we hosted a symposium to promote Geumsan ginseng with Korean and foreign including Chinese and Japanese ginseng specialists attending. We also hosted a conference of agricultural heritage systems with ginseng experts from Korea, Japan and China participating. We applied with the FAO secretariat for registration.
Q: How many foreign visitors do you expect for the event?
A: We calculated the total number of visitors at 3 million – 2.9 million from Korea and 100,000 from overseas. For 100,000 foreign visitors, we will focus on attracting diplomatic officers, U.S. soldiers and foreign students in Korea. We have carried out overseas promotional activities in Asian countries, including Japan and China, as well as the U.S. in 2016 and 2017.
For the promotional campaigns overseas, we participated in the East Asia Trilateral Local Government Forum 2016 in the Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, in October last year to promote the ginseng expo to Japanese and foreign visitors..