Seoul designates pair of new free economic zones

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Seoul designates pair of new free economic zones

Korea yesterday designated two new free economic zones (FEZs) as part of efforts to further attract foreign investment, a government committee said.

The two new areas - one in the country’s eastern region Gangwon and the other in the central region of North Chungcheong - were identified as potential sites in September, according to the FEZ Planning Office in the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

“Since their designation as candidate sites, the office has been working closely with related government ministries to finalize a development plan, which was recently completed,” the office said.

The Gangwon FEZ will have four districts, each with a different specialty, such as tourism and industrial materials. The new free economic zone will cost about 1.3 trillion won ($1.19 billion) and be completed by 2024, according to Park Han-seo of the FEZ office.

The North Chungcheong zone will also have four districts covering industries related to biomedical research and tourism. It is expected to take nearly 2 trillion won and eight years to develop.

“The economic impact of designating the new free economic zones will include an additional 17.2 trillion won in total output and 6.4 trillion won in added value,” the FEZ office said.

It said the free economic zones will help attract foreign investment by offering tax breaks and other government support, creating an estimated 83,000 jobs.

Korea operates six free economic zones that in 2012 attracted $2.52 billion in foreign investment, or 15.5 percent of Korea’s total of $16.26 billion, according to the ministry. Yonhap
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