[Sponsored Report] Global business hub continues to impress

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[Sponsored Report] Global business hub continues to impress


An aerial view of Songdo international city in the Incheon Free Economic Zone. Provided by the IFEZ

The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) is once again under the spotlight as the hosting city of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the sports extravaganza encompassing a population of 4.5 billion people living in Asia.

Since its establishment in August 2003 as the first free economic zone in Korea, the IFEZ has been developed to take a leading role in Korea’s economic growth as a major cargo hub and the center of business in Northeast Asia.

To take an advantageous position in the race of the area’s strong countries such as China and Japan, the FEZ authority constructed an international business hub in Songdo, Cheongna and Yeongjong, the three districts of the FEZ.

The total area of the districts adds up to 132.9 square kilometers (32,840 acres). More land will be available as the reclamation project in Songdo is still under way.

According to the authority, about a third of housing and almost a fourth of the city’s construction has been completed so far. About 526,000 residents - 250,000 in Songdo, 170,000 in Yeongjong and 90,000 in Cheongna - are expected to fill up the area by 2022. The current number of inhabitants in IFEZ is 210,000.

A major source of its confidence in infrastructure is Incheon International Airport, which is only 20 minutes away by car. The airport is a stronghold for global businesses and provides a bridge to 20 billion people within three hours and 61 cities with more than a million in population. The airport currently has 89 participating airliners that fly to 194 cities. The hub is also well known for its quality service: its high-quality service has been awarded the top prize for nine consecutive years and it is the second-best airport for international cargo services.

In addition, Incheon harbor is building a new port on the coast of Songdo to expand its capacity to carry shipments to China. This year, the port has shipped 61 percent of all exports and imports to and from China. The Gyeongin (Seoul-Incheon) Expressway, Incheon Bridge and Yeongjong Bridge provide efficient and timely delivery throughout the area, which also attracts investors to the zone.

“The goal for our development is to become one of the top three FEZs in the world,” said an IFEZ official.

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