According to the Oriental zodiac system, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. The Year of Tiger has begun with new hopes and dreams. Throughout the history of Korea, the tiger is a symbol of bravery and courage. In 2009, the Saemangeum Gunsan Free Economic Zone (SGFEZ) Authority laid the foundation for the full scale internal development of Saemangeum by beginning to build the industrial and tourism zones. In 2010, the authority said that they will focus on speeding up the Samangeum Project and quickly expedite the formation of the industrial and tourism zones like the tiger.
“The year of 2009 will go down in history as quite a meaningful year for the SGFEZ Project,” said Lee Choon-hee, Commissioner of the SGFEZ Authority in his New Year message in January. The Korean Government has been going ahead with the seawall construction project in the Saemangeum Area for 19 years, and this mammoth-sized seawall project is now nearing completion. The General Saemangeum Development Plan is also in its final stage. Therefore, the internal development of Saemangeum will be more active and will produce more tangible results in 2010.
“In 2009, the SGFEZ Authority endeavored to promote the whole Saemangeum Project via efficient development of the zone,” Lee emphasized. “Most of all, I am glad that the SGFEZ Authority successfully carried out a lot of activities for the internal development of the SGFEZ in 2009. In 2010, the Year of the Tiger, we will put our utmost efforts into making the SGFEZ a world-class base for green growth and a hub for international business.”
In 2009, the SGFEZ Authority played a key role in major projects to publicize the start of internal development of the zone. In March, the authority held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone, with reclamation work there now under way. The SGFEZ is in the final stage of building an industrial city possessing low-carbon green industrial complexes.
Last year was a milestone year for the internal development of the SGFEZ, as its northern industrial complex and southern tourism zone entered active development phases. In 2010, the authority will conduct significant major development and investment inducement activities, including sales of real estate in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone and promotion of domestic and foreign investment in the Saemangeum Tourism Zone.
The authority will also realize the internal development of Saemangeum by reinforcing administrative support for companies which signed MOUs as well as customized investment inducement activities for companies. The SGFEZ Authority set “Early Expansion of Investment Inducement Foundation by Speeding up Development by Districts,” as its 2010 goal.
Therefore, the authority will finish the first-phase reclamation work of the #1-1 Section of the Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone as soon as possible. The authority will also begin to sell land via a pre-sales system beginning in the latter half of 2010 and develop a low-carbon green industrial complex by attracting knowledge-creating industries and environment-friendly corporations. The authority will prepare sites by carrying out the reclamation work for the second-phase of the #1-1 Section and the reclamation and formation work for the 2.5 square kilometers of the #1-2 Section.
The authority will also begin reclamation work in the gateway area of the #1 Section, thus providing facilities such as a temporary parking lot and toilets to deal with the expected increase in tourists after completion of the seawall. In addition, the authority will select part of the #2 Section as the #2-1 Section within the first half of 2010 and began to reclaim it by the end of 2010.
As for the Gateway Area, which is the core of the development of the Saemangeum Tourism Zone, the authority will invite private investors during the first half of 2010. Leading investors are expected to take part.
In order to remove various anti-investment factors of the Gogunsan Archipelago Zone, such as high land prices, the authority has devised diversified measures. First of all the authority will draw up plans to start procedures by designating temporary business operators among public entities.
In addition, the authority will introduce a step-by-step development system by first developing facilities that investors prefer. Therefore, the authority will create excellent investment inducement conditions in order to attract investment early on. Moreover, the authority will select companies to move into the Central Development Site at the Gunjang National Industrial Complex Zone in order to sell land early.
With the aim of preventing unexpected situations, such as lots being vacant for a long time, the authority will conduct activities to give support to companies and to attract new companies by forming a council in cooperation with related organizations. The authority is also planning to move into its new headquarters building, which contains an information center, on the Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone in the latter half of 2010. While the entire building is scheduled to be completed in 201, offices for the authority will be opened earlier in order to promote investment consulting and development projects. The authority will create a convenient office layout for investors and people in order to minimize any possibility of a work void which can happen when moving into a new building.
Beginning in 2010, the authority will start to sell land in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone. Companies will be able to actually move into the zone in 2012 after buying lots in 2010. The Saemangeum Industrial Complex Zone will build a wind power cluster and a fuel cell cluster in cooperation with the the Gunjang National Industrial Complex Zone and the Gunsan Industrial Complex Zone. Therefore, the authority expects more inquiries from companies in the energy and machinery industries.
During the first half of 2010, the authority will select private candidates wanting to invest in the Gateway Region of the tourism zone. The authority is planning to attract investments by preparing a layout plan of the entire space in the tourism zone in cooperation with an advanced complex urban development plan of the Office of the Prime Minister and an attractive waterfront city plan of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In the future, the authority will strive to encourage strong candidates to visit the zone through steady management as well as conducting investment inducement events. The authority will reinforce administrative and financial support for those companies which signed MOUs so that they will make investment in 2010 as they promised in the MOUs.
In December of 2009, the SGFEZ signed investment MOUs with three U.S. companies; Red Lion, Windsor & Musa Group and Omni Holdings Group. Red Lion, a gas parts company, agreed to invest US$400 billion while Windsor & Musa Group promised to invest US$1 billion. Furthermore, Omni Holdings Group saw eye to eye with the SGFEZ Authority on building and managing hotels and leisure facilities worth US$3 billion. In 2010, with better strategies and plans, the authority expects to sign more investment deals with investors to further promote the development of the SGFEZ.