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International Golf Tournament Grand Opening of Songdo Global Business Hub
The Presidents Cup 2015
International Golf Tournament Grand Opening of Songdo Global Business Hub
  • By matthew
  • October 7, 2015, 09:15
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An aerial view of the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea, in 2013.
An aerial view of the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea, in 2013.

 

Office buildings rise in the distance overlooking the Jack Niklaus Golf Club Korea at Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea.
Office buildings rise in the distance overlooking the Jack Niklaus Golf Club Korea at Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea.

 

A night view from the central park of Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea.
A night view from the central park of Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea.

 

The Presidents Cup 2015 is coming to Songdo, Incheon, tomorrow, to the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea – the perfect way to showcase South Korea's newest planned city to the world. BusinessKorea was able to sit down with Stan Gale, the president and CEO of Gale International, a few days ago and ask him what he thinks about the tournament, the course, and the impact that The Presidents Cup 2015 will have on its development. We have printed his answers in full below.

[[{"fid":"13040","view_mode":"body_image_right","type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Stan Gale, CEO of Gale International, poses for a photo in front of plans for Songdo International Business District.","height":"682","width":"450","class":"media-element file-body-image-right"},"link_text":null}]]Could you share with our readers the background on how you brought the Presidents Cup to Korea? And, now that this prestigious global golf tournament is less than two weeks away, how would you describe your excitement as the man who has made all this possible?

When Gale International was invited by the Korean government to create a new international city, we believed an international sporting venue was a critical element in attracting global awareness. Knowing the Korean people’s passion for golf, and the rise of golf in Asia, I asked my friend Jack Nicklaus to create a golf course that would be capable of holding events of an international caliber. The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is only five years old and is already hosting The Presidents Cup! With only a week left before the competition begins, I am very proud of what we and our partners have accomplished in Songdo IBD. I see The Presidents Cup as the grand opening of Korea’s smart, sustainable international city.

The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is getting much prominence not only in Korea but from abroad. How would you characterize the strengths of this place?

The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is widely recognized as one of the best golf clubs in the region. It is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Asia. Jack has crafted a golf course that is stunning in its beauty, while also being challenging for golfers of all skill levels. Its location within the city of Songdo IBD, adjacent to Incheon International Airport, makes it the perfect venue to host an international event like The Presidents Cup. Additionally, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea also has many green elements that differentiate it from other courses, which reflect the overall sustainability focus that Gale International brought to its plans and developments in Songdo IBD.

With the Presidents Cup being held in Korea, how do you expect perspectives of foreign investors on Songdo and Incheon City to shift?

Songdo IBD and the greater Incheon Free Economic Zone continue to receive strong interest and participation from foreign investors. With companies like ADT, Cisco, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, not to mention international organizations like the Green Climate Fund and the World Bank, the greater Songdo area is vibrant in its corporate and organizational diversity. We are looking forward to welcoming a hundred thousand guests and to sharing Songdo IBD with over a billion people around the world via television coverage, both of which will further strengthen foreign investors’ perspective that Songdo IBD is a thriving business destination.

Are you satisfied with the development focus and progress that Songdo IBD has made so far? How much has been completed?

When building a city-scale development, patience and creating and sticking to a solid master plan are critical to its success. To date we are very satisfied with our progress, as we have completed almost 70 percent of the overall development. We have just announced that more than 20 million square feet of LEED-certified space is up and occupied in Songdo, one of the highest concentrations of green space in the world. We are hopeful that the global economy as well as the Korean economy continue to improve, and that the overall long-term development targets will be met.

Please share Songdo IBD’s future plans with our readers.

Songdo IBD is a great city that is only just now opening its doors to the world. In the last decade we have built the foundation for a city that I believe will come to be recognized as one of the great cities in the world. The aerotropolis location is unparalleled, as is our access to a huge percentage of the world’s population. The architecture and amenities, such as the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, Central Park, and excellent shopping and restaurants make Songdo IBD a true international destination. Gale International shared our Korean sponsors' vision to create a place that would rise to the pantheon of the greatest international cities. My fondest hope is that my grandchildren and generations thereafter will have Songdo as place where people can live, work, and thrive.