The Ukrainian government has entered the city of Odesa as a contender to host the World Expo in 2030.
Odesa will compete against four other cities for the spot: Moscow, Russia; Rome, Italy; Busan, the Republic of Korea; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
"Holding a world exhibition can become a powerful impetus for development," said Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. "It draws the world's attention to the capabilities of the country and its potential."
Fedorov said the Expo will allow Ukraine to present itself to the world and garner worldwide support.
Hosting the Expo puts the host country in the spotlight, giving broad exposure to its culture and economy. It also attracts tourists. Since the 2020 World Expo in Dubai began on Oct. 1, it has attracted over 8 million visitors, the organizers reported. Hosts also hope to attract foreign investment and advertising.
The first stage of the competition has already begun, in which country representatives showcase their Expo 2030 concepts to delegates from more than 170 countries. The winner will be selected and announced in 2023, giving them ample time to prepare.
The exhibition is held every five years. The contest for hosting rights starts nearly a decade in advance.
Odesa is a city of close to 1 million on the coast of the Black Sea, known for its beaches, architecture, lifestyle and mild weather. British publication The Independent has recently included Odesa in its list of the top cities to visit in 2022, calling it "arguably the most beautiful city in the entire former Soviet Union."