Busan pushes to bring in outside investment

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Busan pushes to bring in outside investment

Starting from next Monday, two resort and tourism development regions in Busan will be designated as areas under the real estate investment immigration system, with the hopes of luring more foreign investment in the area.

The Ministry of Justice said yesterday that the Haeundae Tourist Resort in the seaside neighborhood and the East Busan Tourism Complex will be designated as regions under which those investors who meet a certain minimum quota can receive permanent Korean residency, with the prospect of attracting over 1 trillion won ($904 million) in foreign investment.

The real estate investment immigration system adopted in February 2010 grants permanent residency to foreign investors who invest at least $500,000 in local real estate.

The new policy designated Jeju Island, Pyeongchang’s Alpensia ski resort, Yeosu and Jeongjong Island in Incheon to receive a boost in foreign investment. The additional designations will bring the total areas applicable under the real estate investment immigration system to six.

Jeju Island attracted 409 investments that totaled over 260 billion won in real estate investments.

Those that invest at least 500 million won in Haeundae or at least 700 million won in the East Busan Tourism Complex will be granted permanent residency, said the Justice Ministry.

Key areas of investment in the Haeundae resort area include a 101-floor building and two 85-story buildings, including a hotel.

The East Busan Tourism Complex is also developing theme parks, hotels, condominiums and fitness, leisure and medical facilities to become a large resort area and is especially looking to see investors in its hotels and condominiums. Foreign investors who meet the minimum quota will be granted F-2 visas, or long-term residency visas for professionals.

Haeundae Tourist Resort already signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese investor that intends to invest 1.2 trillion won on the condition of permanent residency, said a Justice Ministry official.

Lee Kyu-hong, head of visa and residency at the ministry, said, “Luring foreign investment has the effect of increasing local investments and furthermore encourages foreigners on recreational visits.”

By Shim Sae-rom, Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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