Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea.
The South Korean government struggling to promote corporate hiring and investment will allow domestic tenants to the free economic zones exclusive for foreign capital and promote them as the hotbed for innovations.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced its second basic plan for free economic zones from 2018 to 2027. The zones were first introduced in 2003 to attract foreign investment with various tax benefits and regulation relief. Despite the achievements of increased investment and job creation, some has been criticizing that it discriminates against domestic firms.
The government aims to draw 8 trillion won ($7.1 billion) in investment from both domestic and overseas firms and create 270,000 jobs by shifting its focus on the special clusters from infra development and investment attraction to supporting high technology and service companies.
It will ease regulations and increase tax incentives to promote new industries by reforming related laws if necessary. It will also set up research centers of universities at home and abroad to strengthen business and academic cooperation.
It plans to encourage near universities to provide new education courses that businesses operating in the free economic zones need, and expand smart cities in Incheon and Daegu. It will nurture Incheon and Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone as bio-healthcare, logistics and high-technology components clusters while promoting others to become the center of regional development.
By Lim Sung-hyun and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]