[EDITORIALS]Binding our own companiesThe plan to build an industrial town that will include an industrial complex and a self-supporting town is about to be cancelled. Samsung Group announced a plan to build a liquid crystal display panel factory and a town with facilities and functions related to the factory at Tangjeong-myeon in Asan, South Chungcheong province early this year. But the Ministry of Construction and Transportation rejected the plan, fearing controversies over giving special favors over development profit to the developer. Samsung has scaled down the area of development to 526.5 acres and presented a revised plan. It gave up the industrial town plan, and instead, it will build an industrial complex.
When the Federation of Korean Industries announced a plan to build industrial towns, the government as well as economic experts welcomed it. Dupyty prime minister of finance and economy, Lee Hun-jai, said, “The government will support the plan actively,” and Our Open Party hung it out as a campaign pledge in the last elections. The project is expected to bring the triple effects of job creation, solution to housing problems and balanced development of local areas.
The Construction Ministry, however, opposed the plan, quoting related laws. The ministry was, in fact, mindful of a controversy over giving development profits to Samsung. It also took the position that the plan overlaps with its plan to create a new town in Asan. However, the industrial town project is a plan that has elevated existing government plans to a higher level.
Balanced development of national territory is a job to be done by the government with tax money. If a business volunteers to do the job by creating an industrial town, the government should not spare any effort in support. On the question of to whom the development profit should belong, the parties concerned can find a compromise solution if they consult with each other.
Because Korea is still under the government-centered way of thinking, the project is to be cancelled. It is the reality that we cannot agree even on an issue like this. There is a psychology of treating businessmen like criminals. While cash subsidies are given to foreign investors, if the government binds domestic businesses with various regulations, how can they have competitiveness?