The Incheon Free Economic Zone pledged to enhance its competitiveness by strengthening its foothold as an international business-friendly zone for service, tourism and bio industry, aiming to attract $930 million worth foreign direct investment this year.
Foreign investment registered for the IFEZ, South Korea’s first free economic zone, stood at $1.206 billion in 2015, accounting for 9 percent of the country’s outstanding FDI, according to the IFEZ Authority.
The IFEZ set a goal to attract a total of $930 million of FDI by fostering bio and tourism industry while resolving pending issues which suffered a setback in recent years.
The Korea-China free trade agreement which went into effect in December is expected to help facilitate more Chinese investment in the zone, comprised of the three regions of Songdo, Cheongna, and the island of Yeongjong.
Songdo has emerged as a mecca of the global biotech industry as it succeeded in attracting a total of 25 biotechnology companies, including Celltrion, Samsung BioLogics, Samsung Bioepis, and DM Bio.
As Samsung BioLogics, which has completed constructing its two bio plants with a total annual capacity of 180,000 liters in Songdo, decided to build a third plant in the region, Songdo will secure the annual production capacity of 510,000 liters, which is the largest amount in the world, said the IFEZ authorities.
“We are committed to solve some pending issues this year. The development project for Songdo construction districts 6 and 8 will be pushed ahead while suspended projects such as the construction of Cheongna City Tower and the third bridge linking Yeongjong and other area will be resumed,” an IFEZ official said.
Another region Yeongjong is well-positioned to attract gamblers, especially deep-pocketed Chinese, as the government plans to issue two new casino license by the end of February.
Last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism unveiled a list of nine regions for the casino-oriented resort project, with six of them located near Yeongjong.
“Securing the license will spur Yeongjong to develop itself into a tourism cluster which the IFEZ has been hoping for a long time,” an IFEZ official said.
Moreover, LOCZ Korea, a consortium by China’s Lippo Group and Caesars Entertainment of the U.S., is set to break ground in February after receiving approval from the government to build a casino in the region.