[EDITORIALS]An economic necessity

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[EDITORIALS]An economic necessity

The government announced a blueprint for developing an international business center in an area of 132 square kilometers that lies west of Seoul. According to the plan, the Songdo "new town" area in Incheon, and Yeongjongdo Island, where Incheon International Airport is located, together with the Gimpo landfill area, will be designated as a special economic zone.

We have pointed out on other occasions that for the future development of the nation it is important to develop western coastal cities as an axis connecting the Seoul metropolitan area and Incheon International Airport with major cities and harbors of Gyeonggi, Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces. China is rapidly growing into "the factory of the world." It is our conclusion that Korea, which is surrounded by Russia, a military power and Japan, the world's second economic power, should choose to be a regional distribution and business center utilizing its geopolitical advantage.

In this connection, the government's plan to develop the western region of the Seoul metropolitan area first, and let the development spread to other regions, is right, and it is a national agenda that should be promoted without hesitation.

What is important is not the necessity or inevitability of development, but how effectively the development will be promoted. Foremost, bipartisan promotion is necessary. The development of the Songdo and Yeongjongdo areas contradicts the policy of restraining concentrated urban growth in the metropolitan area. Legislation of laws enabling designation of special economic zones and allocation of budgets requires the cooperation of the political community. That the project will be concluded in the year 2020 shows that the project needs political and legal support. It makes sense to study ways to organize a special committee in which the government, the ruling and opposition parties and civilian specialists can take part.

As part of details of the project, incentives to attract finance and investment from foreign business concerns should be worked out. Building roads and reducing taxes are not enough to attract overseas investors. Because the future of the country depends on the project, our national strength should be concentrated on it.
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