|G-Tower in Songdo, the location of the World Bank Group’s Korean office. (Incheon City)|
The World Bank Group is set to open its Korean office in Songdo, as part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone, in December, Incheon Metropolitan City said on Tuesday.
The WBG plans to establish two Korean offices, a main office in Songdo, Incheon, and a liason office in Seoul, according to city officials.
“We expect that many developing countries will learn from Korea’s past experience in sustainable development, enhanced services for living and dynamic transition to a knowledge economy in particular,” said WBG President Jim Yong Kim.
The city government said that the WBG and the municipality had discussed the plan since 2012, followed by an official agreement signed by the WBG president and Korean Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-seok on Oct. 10 on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the WBG and the International Monetary Fund.
Staffed with about 20 officials, the main WBG office in Songdo will house four of the five member organizations of the WBG ― the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, International Finance Corp., and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, according to city officials. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, another WBG member, was excluded from the Songdo office.
The Incheon government also said that Korea’s hosting of the WBG offices would entail significant economic benefits to the country, contributing to creating job opportunities, attracting tourists and hosting at least 40 big international events.
“(The new WBG offices) are expected to contribute greatly to developing multiple financial sectors, including economic development plans, information technology solutions and financial infrastructure,” Incheon City said in a press release.
City Mayor Song Young-gil said the hosting of the WB Korean office had symbolic meaning as Songdo could grow into an international finance hub.
By Chung Joo-won (email@example.com