According to the Daegu Metropolitan City and the Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), it vied with Norway, Russia and China before WGC membership countries selected Daegu. It will become just the third Asian city to host the conference. Over 6,000 gas experts, officials and scholars from 90 countries will be in attendance. The conference will also feature 15,000 exhibitors and visitors.
The WGC is the largest of the three major energy conventions; the World Energy Congress (WEC) and World Petroleum Congress (WPC) are the other two. Previously, Daegu successfully hosted the WEC, partially paving the way for the WGC’s arrival in 2021. Daegu’s burgeoning reputation as a green energy city was also a contributing factor.
This year’s successful bid will help erase the memories of two failed attempts to host in 2002 and 2011. The recent movement of KOGAS’s headquarters to Daegu helped foster a stronger business relationship between the two and was another key element to winning hosting privileges.
Last November, the Daegu Metropolitan City, KOGAS, the Korean Gas Union, shipbuilders and industrial plants gathered and launched the “WGC Bidding Committee” and visited fifty member countries. Diplomatic emissaries met with each country’s government and gas officials in effort to gain support for Korea as host. Additionally, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy met with foreign government officials to support promotion activities.
Winning the bid brings with it a lot of upside for both Daegu and Korea. According to KOGAS, “The conference is expected to create some 120 billion won in added value as well as employment of 2,500 people in the local economy.”
It could also bolster Korea’s presence in the Energy industry. Dong-Myung Ha, director of the Korean Institute of Gas, said it would be necessary to “have a discussion to improve the LNG pricing system and establish a hub of gas.” Korea would then be able to exert greater “influence within the international gas industry.”
The landmark win also strengthens Daegu’s appeal as a host city. The city’s successful hosting of major energy events over the last several years in combination with the WGC bid have made it a prominent figure on the global energy stage.
Daegu mayor, Young Jin-Gwon, echoed these sentiments, "We will do our best to prepare for a successful 2021 WGC. Also, we’ll keep expanding convention infrastructure and hosting more international events to make Daegu an international meeting destination.”