Celebrating its 15th anniversary on Oct. 15, the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA) has unveiled a new IFEZ vision and strategy. Based on its vision of becoming a "Global Business Frontier,” the IFEZA presented five goals for the IFEZ: a top business hub in Northeast Asia, a leading base of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a global education city, a cultural and leisure hub, and a smart city.
To attain the vision, it has set up four strategies, including developing a global economic platform, creating a service industry hub, fostering a convergence and integration industry hub and building a compact and smart city.
Under these strategies, the IFEZA will push ahead with 15 key projects, such as promotion of an airport and port economic bloc, creation of the West Sea NLL and Special Zone for Peace and Cooperation, expansion of a biotech and healthcare complex and establishment of a startup venture policy.
At the 15th anniversary ceremony, the IFEZA announced five goals and 20 major projects to respond to rapidly changing trends. Initially outlined in early February, the goals and projects were finalized after consultation with various committees and experts. The IFEZa has mapped out execution plans based on its achievements and self-reflection in the last 15 years.
As part of its plans to strengthen the ability to respond to changes in the investment environment in the future, the IFEZA will also revise priority industries to attract according to the policies for investment attraction from the companies at home and abroad in line with the government’s second free economic zone basic plans between 2018 and 2027.
The IFEZA is planning to aggressively attract global companies by focusing on promoting the airport and port economic bloc and expand the partnership between model cities in South Korea and China to the service industry by making use of the stage 2 service model zone platform of the Korea-China FTA.
Moreover, the IFEZA will seek to increase the number of international organizations from the current 15 to 35 in the zone, attracting a total of 50, and create the optimal environment for international organizations by operating health clinics and legal and tax consulting offices only for foreigners.
In particular, the IFEZA will push forward inter-Korean transportation business, including sea and land, through the West Sea NLL and Special Zone for Peace and Cooperation and pursue the West Sea Special Economic Community Zone strategy as the South-North relations have improved. It also plans to work with Incheon City, Gaeseong and Haeju on projects for the West Sea NLL and Special Zone for Peace and Cooperation and examine the West Sea Special Economic Community Zone policy in accordance with the improvement of inter-Korean relations and seven key pledges selected by the popular vote.
As part of its efforts to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the IFEZA will connect Songdo District 11 with neighboring District 4, 5 and 7 and create the world’s largest and best biotech and healthcare complex.
For the medical care sector, the IFEZA plans to set up a medical town, which is a hospital complex specialized to Songdo, and research-focused hospitals, including Songdo International Hospital and Severance Hospital, and attract a mid-size general hospital in Yeongjong and create a medical tour complex in Cheongna in its bid to promote the IFEZ as a hub of infrastructure for the settlement environment and medical healthcare industry.
The IFEZA will also attract mainly companies specialized in core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as information technology (IT), bio-technology (BT), medical convergence and integration, artificial intelligence (AI), fifth generation networks (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicle and core material component, in Songdo and designate the zone as special aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) complex and general aviation industrial complex, and attract domestic and foreign companies related to aviation maintenance, flight training center and aviation parts in Yeongjong.
Furthermore, the IFEZA will integrate robot, drone and new energy companies in Cheongna and attract futuristic car component producers in the Incheon Hi-Tech Park in order to create a convergence and integration hub that leads the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In addition, the IFEZA will make the IFEZ a futuristic smart city equipped with the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, including AI and big data, and export the IFEZ’s smart city model through the development of customized smart city models and branding.
Kim Jin-yong, commissioner of the IFEZA, said, “Many achievements made by the IFEZ over the last 15 years were possible thanks to IFEZA employees’ enthusiasm and effort for the IFEZ, Incheon citizens’ love and encouragement and experts’ expertise and participation. We will not only respond quickly to a new environment change called the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the latest IFEZ vision and strategy but also make every effort to make the IFEZ a global city by gathering internal capacities and making best use of external resources.”