The Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA) held its 2030 vision and strategy proclamation ceremony at the G Tower in Songdo on July 19. It has come up with the plan to respond to rapid changes in the future based on its development results in the last 13 years. In addition, the authority presented the IFEZ’s new vision dubbed “global business frontier” and its outline and practical strategies.
Incheon Metropolitan City Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok said, “Advanced countries have been already pursuing the metropolitan economic zones focusing on major cities to strengthen the city competitiveness. Now, it is the time to create the Pan Yellow Sea Economic Bloc based on Incheon and the IFEZ should be the center of it. We revealed the vision of becoming a global business frontier and detailed action plans today. This is not just to simply propose the goal, but to build up the framework of the growth engine of not only Incheon but also Korea in the future. We hope that the IFEZ works as an advance guard for opening the Sovereignty Era of Incheon in where citizens are happy.
According to the vision, Incheon is a frontier city in Korea, which has played a role as a first mover historically and geographically with opening of the Incheon Port in 1883. The IFEZA will have a new understanding and succession of the value and help Incheon turn into the global business frontier. In order to do so, the IFEZA has come up with four core strategies.
Establishing Economic Platform for Incheon
The global economic platform is designed to declare the Economic Sovereignty Era of Incheon and establish the economic system focusing on Incheon. The IFEZA will attract investors with the Pan Yellow Sea Economic Bloc as a base of global regulatory innovation, expand trade and commerce between pilot cities in both Korea and China by making use of the Korea-China FTA platform to create mutual funneling effects and set up a sound and sustainable global economic platform based on the city of international organizations and green climate financial industry. To this end, the authority plans to work together with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to host investment fairs recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) and attract potential investors such as global companies and regional headquarters.
In particular, it will form a joint committee between Korean and Chinese cities in the second half of the year in order to improve non-tariff barriers and cooperate in joint certification between pilot project zones among Korea-China FTA economic cooperation projects, gradually come up with improvement measures, and form and operate logistics forums between pilot regions – Incheon and Weihai. In a bid to establish the Korea and China e-commerce Silk Road cooperative cities platform, the IFEZA plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Weihai and designate and operate the e-commerce logistics complex.
Based on international organizations, including GCF, and facilities for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry, it will prepare grounds to attract and support international organizations to become the central city of international organizations in Northeast Asia. Moreover, the authority plans to establish and run Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) and Climate Change Center in order to promote the GCF-based green climate industry.
Thriving as Hub of Boosting Korean Service Industry Competitiveness
The government has announced to intensively foster the convergence service industry with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance as the center. Accordingly, the IFEZA will help the IFEZ be designated as a leading zone in the convergence service industry.
In the global education sector, it plans to expand the Incheon Global Campus from the current four universities to fashion, hotel, music and medical schools. The authority will also set up the Industry-University-Institute cooperation system so that it can create the virtuous circle system which nurtures global talents and put them into companies in the IFEZ.
In the MICE industry sector, the IFEZA plans to complete the second stage of Songdo Convensia construction in 2018, attract various international events using international organizations, and develop tourism and cultural contents connected to resorts in the IFEZ, turning Incheon into the central city in the industry.
The authority will also come up with co-existence cooperation plans to activate the local economy and create jobs through the integration of three complex resorts whose builders and business operators are already selected. Ultimately, it will additionally attract the MICE Integrated Resorts to promote it as the complex resort cluster in Northeast Asia with the competitiveness.
In a bid to activate the marine leisure industry, the IFEZA will expand infrastructure for marine leisure activities, including yacht and cruising, and build additional cruise-connected tourism facilities by making use of the Songdo New Port and Incheon International Ferry Terminal.
Becoming the Heart of Industrial Convergence
In the biomedicine sector, the IFEZA plans to increase the production capabilities by steadily attracting global bio companies and continuously gain a competitive edge in the global production capabilities by attracting connected industries. In addition, it will strengthen the industrial support system, like training programs and networking, through the IFEZ bio-analysis support center. In particular, it will not only attract companies in the bio health, medical, treatment and diagnosis sectors, based on the 11th bio specialized complex zone, but also expand Songdo’s bio front by fostering small and mid-sized companies and venture companies in the bio sector.
In the medical sector, the authority plans to establish the specialized hospital complex to improve the quality of healthcare services and promote the zone as the core competence in infrastructure of residential environment for foreigners and the medical care industry through the attraction of general hospitals.
For the integration of the convergence industry and advanced vehicle industry, moreover, it will make Incheon Hi-Tech Park (IHP) in Cheongna as the complex for advanced vehicles, like electric vehicles (EV), and attract companies producing EV components, such as secondary battery, motor and inverter, and smart car components, including IT manufacturing, communications and sofreware.
Boosting City Competitiveness with Eco-friendly Smart City
The IFEZA plans to develop and provide public-private cooperative tangible services by creating an IFEZ-typed smart test bed, and work together with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to develop the IFEZ’s Smart City Integration Platform to the K-Smart City Model. In particular, it will operate a public-private task force team, along with the government and related public corporations, and operate more regional support centers to expand its business overseas.
In order to create environmentally-friendly infrastructure, improve the urban ecological environment and establish energy saving-centered cities, the authority will increase the ratio of green coverage from the current 41.2 square meters per person to 70 square meters per person and continuously expand resource circulation facilities and sewage reuse facilities to remain the status as an eco-friendly city.
Furthermore, the IFEZA plans to designate and manage the landscape management zones, based on its detailed plans for the landscape, in a bid to nurture its strengths as a beautiful city whose scenery is often featured in TV dramas and commercials. It will also keep pursuing policies which strengthen design guidelines and expertise in night landscape.