If one visits Songdo today, they would find that over the past decade, the place has been completely transformed from a muddy tract into a bustling international hub for both local and global companies.
This transformation is the result of the hard work of the many involved parties, namely the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority which governs the Songdo international business district.
In a recent interview with The Korea Herald, IFEZ commissioner Lee Jong-cheol said he would continue to work on attracting more businesses and global organizations to Songdo in efforts to make it even more business-friendly.
“The IFEZ is a smart, compact green business district well known for its ubiquitous Internet network environment, eco-friendly parks sprawled across the area and its location adjacent to the airport in Incheon City,” Lee said.
|Lee Jong-cheol, commissioner of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority. (IFEZA)|
To make the district attractive for investment, he promised to cut down on regulations that hamper development and growth.
“In this fast-changing and globalizing era, unnecessary regulations do more harm than good,” said the commissioner, who proclaimed in April that he would make all-out efforts to streamline bureaucracy in the IFEZ.
He also asked for the active participation of the central government in the initiative to remove red tape in order to successfully reform the administrative structure.
The free economic zone in Songdo is home to not only global companies but also 13 international organizations including the Global Climate Fund headquarters and the Korean office of the World Bank Group.
The director general of the GCF and around 20 officials are currently working at the Korean office, and the U.N. organization is scheduled to employ more directors and specialists.
“The openings of such international organizations in the district help not only to improve the local economy as it creates jobs, but also to increase the reputation of the area,” said the commissioner, pledging that he would try to host more global organizations.
Earlier this month, the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit organization committed to the efficient and clean use of energy, granted the Songdo international business district an Energy Efficiency Visionary Award in recognition of the district’s environment-friendly urban planning including a stable and highly efficient energy supply system.
“I will make further efforts to make Songdo a future-oriented and green area,” the commissioner said.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org