New global center for expatriatesThe Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to relocate the Seoul Global Center to a new, 15-story building tentatively named the Global Center Building by next year to better serve the needs of expatriates living in Seoul, the city announced yesterday.
Currently, the Seoul Global Center is on the third floor of the Korea Press Center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.
Under the plan, the city will relocate the Seoul Global Center to a building, now under construction, next to Youngpoong Bookstore in Jongno District.
When completed, all floors will be dedicated to providing assistance for expatriates ranging from daily living, business activities, administrative services to educational courses. It will also continue to offer counseling for legal, labor, tax and real estate issues.
City officials believe the new Global Center Building will provide one-stop service.
The Korea Immigration Service and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry will open offices in the building, and medical institutions will also be located in the facility.
The relocation is part of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s long-term master plan to improve the quality of expatriates’ living and business conditions.
In September, the city government will open the Seoul Global Business Support Center in the International Finance Centre Seoul in Yeouido.
By 2015, the city plans to establish an international culture exchange center in Mapo, where the Human Resources Development of Korea is located. The human resources facility will be relocated to Ulsan.
Other measures that Seoul has announced to improve the quality of life for expatriates in Seoul include offering more Korean language classes for foreign spouses and their children.
The city yesterday also announced its results of an expatriate satisfaction survey. The city surveyed 900 expatriates and asked how satisfied they were living in Seoul.
The survey found expatriates’ overall satisfaction rose two years in a row to 3.81 out of 5 points this year from 3.78 points in 2009 and 3.59 in 2008.
Expatriates said they are most satisfied with Seoul’s public transportation system (4.03 points), followed by culture (3.99 points), education (3.78 points), medical facilities (3.68 points) and housing (3.55 points).
According to officials, 263,000 expatriates live in Seoul as of December, accounting for 2.5 percent of Seoul’s population.
By Kim Mi-ju [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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