The reputation of the Incheon Free Economic Zone in the city of Incheon has been slowly but steadily building over the years, and it now stands as an international business hub that is attracting an ever-growing list of global firms and organizations.
Just looking at the numbers, the IFEZ has so far attracted 13 international organizations including the Association of World Election Bodies and UNESCAP.
Among the organizations nestled in the international business district, the Green Climate Fund and the Korean office of the World Bank Group are two of the most significant.
|Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok (sixth from left) and Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, pose with other officials at the opening ceremony of the U.N. institution in Songdo, Incheon, in December 2013. (IFEZ)|
The GCF is an entity often called the world’s bank for the environment as it encourages the transfer of money from developed nations to developing ones to support initiatives in countering climate change and global warming.
The GCF, established in 2009, is expected to play a critical role in helping developing nations fight climate change on a broader scale than before.
The Korean office of the World Bank, meanwhile, will develop and launch investment projects for developing countries.
The commissioner said more such prominent organizations are expected to take advantage of Songdo’s top-notch business environment.
“We will make utmost efforts to further host service businesses and organizations that create high added value in industries such as education, retail, medicine and leisure, and make the IFEZ the best business hub in the world,” said Lee Jong-cheol, commissioner of the IFEZ.
One of the reasons why the IFEZ is becoming a popular destination for international businesses and entities is its convenient transportation and excellent living conditions, according to those working in the area.
It only takes around 20 minutes to drive to Incheon International Airport, and one can fly to 61 Asian nations including Beijing and Tokyo in less than three hours.
World-class educational institutes Chadwick International School in Songdo and Songdo Global University Campus cater to foreign expatriates’ children.
After announcing a series of plans to become a low-carbon and green district in 2011, the IFEZ now boasts parks that take up 30 percent of the land.
The area is equipped with a water recycling system that collects and treats used water. The processed water is then reused for various purposes such as cleaning roads and watering flowers and trees in the parks.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)