Songdo pulling in more investment

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Songdo pulling in more investment

Songdo International Business District in Incheon continues to lure more investors, including a semiconductor plant and research facility as the built-from-scratch city fashions itself as an educational, economic and cultural hub.

The Incheon Free Economic Zone yesterday announced that Amkor Technology, a U.S.-based international semiconductor packaging and testing services provider, will begin construction of a production plant and global research and development center in Songdo on June 20.

Amkor Technology, a Nasdaq-listed company founded in 1968, last year signed a preliminary deal with the Incheon municipal government to construct a state-of-the-art plant and research lab in the growing city.

The 185,600 square-meter facility will be built in the High-Tech Industrial Cluster, a hub for other IT and research and development facilities.

The semiconductor assembly plant and research lab is expected to be completed by the end of next year and will begin partial operation from 2015.

The project is expected to cost some 1.76 trillion won ($1.55 billion), and is the largest investment in Songdo following the 2.1 trillion invested for Samsung Biologics. Incheon city estimates that the plant and research center will employ some 6,000 full-time staff once in operation.

Songdo, which will be home to the Green Climate Fund secretariat and other international organizations, has recently seen investment flourish in its hotels and apartments as well.

The Incheon Free Economic Zone stated that recently some 757 million won was invested in the communal residential area built by Youseung Construction, and another 2.4 billion won and 2.3 billion won in separate residential areas in the city.

A project that has been forestalled, the Korean American Village, which will be a residential area for Koreans returning from abroad and seeking an international ambiance, is finally picking up pace as well.

Koam International, the developer of the project, stated that at the end of last month they parceled out contracts with some 150 people visiting the Korean American Village and viewing model houses. Some 1,200 applicants are slated to visit the village by August to complete signing contracts.

The village is significant to Incheon because it saw its first immigrant ship with 121 Koreans aboard depart from its harbors in 1903.

Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil stated, “This is the first immigrant community for Korean residents abroad coming back to their home country.”

From September last year, Koam International began a roadshow in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to attract people to the 54,000 square-meter residential town which includes over 3,000 residential units in the form of apartments, officetels and residential hotels.

Kim Ki-young, a 71-year-old businessman who is a resident of Virginia, stated, “After 45 years of living in the U.S., it is about time to retire from my current occupation and I am a Korean after all, so I decided to move here.”

Likewise, Iris Seo, 56, a resident of San Francisco stated, “I want my kids to come to Korea as well so that they can have pride as Koreans.”

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