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Island city to grow from China-Korea partnership

May 07,2007
An international city with Chinese features “like Hong Kong” will be built on Korea’s Yeongjong island, where the Incheon International Airport is located, John L. W. Lee, managing director of the Lippo Group, said during a visit to the island last week.
He was talking about the Unbuk new town, which Lippo, the second biggest business group founded by an overseas Chinese, will develop through a joint venture with Korea’s state-run and private companies.
On Wednesday, the joint venture, Lippo Incheon Development Co., began operation. Lippo Limited, listed on the Hong Kong stock market, is the largest shareholder in the joint venture with a 50 percent stake. Korea’s state-run Incheon Urban Development Corp. has a 9.6 percent stake.
The Unbuk new town will be built on a 185-hectare site on the northeast coast of Yeongjong Island with housing and resort complexes including hotels, entertainment and cultural centers. The airport is located on the western part of the island.
Speaking about the character of the new community, Lee, who came to Korea to celebrate the launch of the joint venture, said, “We will focus on China and we will focus on leisure.”
“We will put together all Asian and Chinese themes, making use of the experience we gained operating companies in various parts of Asia,” he added.
“We will focus on urbanization of the residential town in the short run,” he said. “An increase in population is very important in accelerating growth in the town. At least 5,000 to 6,000 people should move there in the short term.”
He said it would be possible because “The Unbuk area is a corridor between Seoul and the Incheon International Airport.”
The company plans to invest at least $1 billion, but that figure could reach $8 billion depending on the finished master plan, Lee said.


By Moon So-young Staff Writer [symoon@joongang.co.kr]


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