Canada formally declined the invitation of South Korea to participate in Expo 2012, saying its financial position does not allow him to participate in this international event.
The authorities of the South Korean Embassy in Ottawa confirmed Tuesday it had received a letter last month the Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore, in which he regrets that Canada can not participate in the international exhibition.
The spokesman of the Korean Embassy, Heon-jun Kim said that Korea had done his best to encourage Canada to take part in Expo 2012, without success.
"We tried to convince them to participate in our event next year, but we must respect their decision," he said. "We are sorry for the situation. We have worked hard to invite them. "Mr. Moore's letter, dated July 14, says that Canada is focusing on other issues.
"Right now, our government is involved in several national priorities, including a return to balanced budgets through a tight fiscal policy. This prevents the participation of Canada, "it said in the letter.
The document also welcomes South Korea, including the city of Pyeongchang hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018. "Rest assured that Canada values the strong relationships it has with the Republic of Korea, and is committed to strengthen them. "
"We believe that our two nations, working together can make great strides to find acceptable solutions on a range of bilateral issues," continues the letter.
A spokesman for Mr. Moore was unavailable for comment on the decision Tuesday.
A Canadian businessman wants Ottawa to change its mind
The Vancouver-based businessman David Sinclair said working with representatives of business in Canada and South Korea in order to change this decision.
He said that the Korean authorities to which he referred had been offended by the refusal of Canada, but they had kept a place for Canada in the event, should the government change its mind.
Mr. Sinclair has called Canada's decision to "against-productive" in a context where the country is negotiating a free trade agreement with South Korea and works to improve trade ties with Asian countries.
The businessman has already built pavilions for large-scale events, including expositions.
Canada and Greece are the only country to have refused the invitation of Korea for economic reasons.
Canada was not in the world's most popular at Expo 2010
A report from the Harris-Decima commissioned by Heritage Canada after Canada's participation in Shanghai World Expo in 2010 indicated that the land of the maple leaf was not a main attractions of these international events .
A total of 246 countries and international organizations participated in the Expo 2010. A record 73 million visitors went there, but Canada was not a priority to stop them, said the report.
The flags of Japan, the United States, France, Germany and England were the most popular.
Interest in the Canadian pavilion, however, increased when the artisans of Cirque du Soleil arrived, the report said.
"The superficial knowledge of Canada, Canadians and the uniqueness of their country hinders the interest in its flag," is written in the report.