Incheon City chases after investment

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Incheon City chases after investment

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Incheon mayor Song Young-gil gives a speech on the city’s commitment to attracting corporate trade and investment during a joint event held at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul yesterday. Provided by Incheon city government


The local government of Incheon City has made extensive efforts to attract leading companies from both home and abroad.

The Incheon Metropolitan Government, along with the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority, Incheon Development & Tourism Corporation and Incheon Chamber of Commerce & Industry hosted a seminar on trade and investment-themed “Tap the economic capital of Incheon in advance.”

It was attended by about 350 audience members, including chief executives of local and foreign businesses including Samsung, LG Electronics, SK, Posco, Gale, Triple Five Korea, institutional investors from Mirae Asset Securities, Daewoo Securities and Shinhan Bank, heads of business lobby groups and media outlets at the Lotte Hotel Seoul yesterday.

The event was led by Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil, who asserted the city’s strong commitment to attracting corporate trade and investment.

“A new EIU [Economist Intelligence Unit] report revealed that Incheon will be the second major city to see the greatest surge in global competitiveness by 2025. The city’s foreign direct investment reached $1.469 billion, the nation’s top figure in the first quarter of 2013,” Song said.

“The investment, groundbreaking and relocation of major companies around the world are continuing.”

The mayor described six free economic zones - high-tech medical and bio, logistics and retail, culture and tourism, international affairs, education and research and development - 12 industrial complexes, areas surrounding the airport and seaport, and key investment areas in districts including Luwon and Dohwa.

The mayor said he will also address Incheon’s investor-friendly environment, including the city’s support for incoming companies.

The local government and the Incheon Chamber of Commerce & Industry will provide financial support, such as subsidies for relocation, employment, training, rent and facilities to companies that move their headquarters from Seoul to Incheon.

In the plan, the city government will first provide 500 million won ($442,000) of location subsidies to high-tech companies with more than 40 billion in sales and software companies with sales of more than 10 billion won.

And when investment exceeds 4 billion won, it will provide up to 1.5 billion won of subsidies for facilities . When the number of regular employees exceeds 20, it will pay subsidies for employment in six months.

When a company hires more than 20 Incheon citizens, the government plans to support 200 million won of job training subsidies.

Incheon has attracted foreign investment worth $5.4 billion since Song’s inauguration to the office in June 2010, the top figure across the nation in terms of greenfield investment.

Incheon now has a strong foothold in global green growth by successfully hosting the UN Global Climate Fund Secretariat last October, becoming the first Asian city to host the headquarters of an international organization.

Since hosting the UN Global Climate Fund Secretariat, Incheon has attracted active investment following frequent visits by foreign investors.

“Incheon has also had significant success in attracting conglomerates such as Samsung Biologics, Dong-A Pharmaceutical, Lotte Shopping Mall, Shinsegae Shopping Mall, E-Land, Hana Financial Group Town, LG Electric Car R&D Institute and Japan’s Ajinomoto,” said Song.

The city expects it will create an additional 50,000 jobs and boost the local economy through trade and investment and local and foreign marketing activities.

At the event, the Incheon government signed 300 billion won of memorandums of understanding for projects such as establishing the International Ginseng Retail Center, relocating Daehan Feed headquarters and building the Hallyu Culture Complex.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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