Soaring to New Heights:
Songdo, Yeongjong And Cheongna Of IFEZ
By Mee-Hyoe Koo
Located on the northwest coast of Korea, the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) is about one-third the size of Seoul and is divided into three distinct regions: Songdo, Yeongjong and Cheongna.
The goal of the IFEZ is to transform these three areas into hubs for logistics, international business, leisure and tourism for the Northeast Asian region. The term “Free Economic Zone” applies to the development in these three areas with the aim of improving the business environment for foreign-invested enterprises and the living conditions for foreigners. The zone is specially designated to create the most favorable business and living environment in which foreign nationals can live and invest freely and conveniently. With its projected development period spanning from 2003 to 2020, water reclamation, infrastructure development and the construction of business and residential facilities remain as IFEZ’s more imminent goals. The Korean government has invested a total of US$41 billion on the water reclamation and infrastructure development alone.
Aiming to become the world’s most compact and green city, IFEZ also hopes to become a hub of advanced technology and capital that will act as a stimuli to the development of the Korean economy as well as Korean society as a whole.
Songdo International Business City
Songdo International Business City boasts several major projects, including Songdo Convensia, Eco-City Construction Project and Bio Research Complex, to name just a few.
Songdo Convensia is one of the highlighted facilities in Songdo with its many exhibition areas, conference rooms and other amenities that make Songdo a central business district. Songdo Convensia houses a basement level and four aboveground floors with a total area of 100,000 square meters. The exhibition hall alone consists of 8,416 square meters, while the main ballroom has the capacity to hold 2,000 people. Songdo Convensia’s 23 small and medium conference rooms are also well equipped with high-tech facilities.
Also within the Songdo International Business City is the Eco-City Construction Project with its various green-zone initiatives, including an artificial canal as well as a formal garden, sculpture garden and green gardens.
In line with IFEZ’s aim to become one of the leading bio-clusters in East Asia, Songdo’s Bio Research Complex is being implemented
to create a R&D complex in partnership with IBM, Siemens and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Cooperation with various global institutions will result in a comprehensive process for medical research and business in IFEZ.
In addition, as knowledge-based industries are critical stimuli for new growth dynamics, IFEZ is constructing the Yonsei University Global Campus, Global Academic Village, a science and engineering center, as well as an R&D park to help position IFEZ as a hub for education, research and FDI in Northeast Asia.
Yeongjong Logistics City
Yeongjong Logistics City, a second segment of IFEZ, features an industrial and logistics complex offering various exhibition spaces, lodging, business, education and European-style towns. Yeongjong Logistics City was developed by Korea Land Corporation and Incheon Urban Development Corporation in a dual effort to build an airport city with numerous high-tech support functions.
Milano Design City is one of the beautiful milestone projects situated in Yeongjong Logistics City. It is projected to become a cluster of culture, design and education facilities by 2017. Following the Protocol of Cooperation between Milano and Incheon, which was established in November 2008, Milano Design City project is expected to generate a total of US$600 billion each year in addition to employing 35,000 people.
Also situated in Yeongjong is the Medi-City in which international hospitals, hotels and research complexes will be built, enabling it to offer a wide range of medical treatments, new drug development, education, recreation and leisure.
Yeongyu and Muui Tourism Complex, a joint project between Incheon City and Incheon Urban Development Corporation, is also located in Yeongjong, as it aligns with the city’s aim to become a city of culture, tourism and leisure.
Cheongna Leisure City
There are various initiatives being made in Cheongna Leisure City, among them the international BIT Port project, GM-Daewoo R&D Center, the theme-park golf course project and the Incheon High-Tech Park Project.
The international BIT Port project is a joint venture between Seoul National University and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, designed to create a Biology Technology and Information Technology education and research cluster. It will provide a strong
foundation for IFEZ’s green growth, in addition to stimulating the development and investment allocation in Cheongna.
Meanwhile, the GM-Daewoo R&D Center is a large-scale project that will contribute greatly to the economic growth not only of Incheon, but of Korea as a whole. The total revenue and related business transactions generated by the center are expected to reach US$142 billion, and it will employ some 53,000 personnel upon its completion.
In keeping with IFEZ’s strategic goal of becoming the world’s most innovative city through the use of ubiquitous and wireless technologies, Incheon High-Tech Park will further attract foreign businesses seeking to do business in one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities.
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