Gov’t adds five areas for foreign investment

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Gov’t adds five areas for foreign investment

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The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy yesterday designated an additional five foreign investment areas, including the first exclusively for small and midsize businesses in Gangwon.

The areas are Munmak in Gangwon, Yeosu in South Jeolla, Gunsan in North Jeolla, Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi and Hwaseong in Gyeonggi.

If all goes as planned, the five new areas will attract about 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in foreign investment and create 1,159 jobs.

In Munmak, German medical company Artificial Life and three similar businesses are planning to set up branches. That is estimated to generate about $68 million in investment and 580 jobs over the next five years.

In Yeosu, Italy’s Versalis will launch a joint venture with Korea’s Lotte Chemical to produce synthetic rubber, starting in 2017. They plan to invest a total of 543 billion won.

Japanese material developer Toray Industries will invest 305 billion won to build facilities to produce polymer products in Gunsan, one of the government-run free economic zones.

Optical-film maker Nitto Denkko plans to invest 178 billion won to produce films for touch panels for smartphones and tablet PCs.

American gas producer Air Products and Chemicals plans a $63.3 billion investment.

Korea received its largest-ever foreign direct investment last year of $16.2 billion. This year, however, the total FDI amount isn’t likely to top that, with the ministry earlier setting a goal of $13.5 billion.

“We forecast the actual amount would exceed the goal, but not beyond last year’s record,” Chun said.


BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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