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Gov't unveils measures to attract more foreign investments

South Korea will support the launch of for-profit foreign hospitals on Jejudo Island and other free economic areas in a bid to induce foreign investment in promising service sectors, the government said Tuesday.

The current daily stock price limit will be eased "in phases," and a master plan will be drawn up by the end of this year to encourage the construction of world-class resort complex facilities, it said.

These steps were included in a list of deregulations and plans unveiled by the government to promote South Korea's trade and investment in seven service sectors selected as promising. The government expects that the measures will induce 15 trillion won ($14.6 billion) in investment and generate some 180,000 jobs.

The government will also lower regulations for building integrated resorts incorporating a wide range of tourist contents with gaming facilities to help boost its economy and tourism industry, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

In a meeting of the trade and investment promotion committee presided over by President Park Geun-hye, the tourism ministry said it will support mega resort projects under way on Yeongjong Island, the nation's main gateway, and the southern resort island of Jeju, and ease casino license rules to draw more foreign investment.

Korea has been strict in issuing casino licenses on concerns over gambling addiction, but the government has recently eased up, hoping to take a share in the rapidly expanding Chinese gambling market.

The government will also build more cable cars and resorts to help boost tourism in forests and mountain areas as it unveiled a set of measures to invigorate the country's trade and investment. 

The following are key features of the measures that the government unveiled to boost trade and investment. They are focused on easing regulations and removing road blocks that hamper investment in service sectors. 

- Provides support for the opening of for-profit foreign hospitals on Jeju Island and in free economic zones

- Expands the daily stock price change limit from 15 percent to 30 percent

- Establishes technology credit bureaus (TCBs) and a tech database (TDB)

- Creates 3 trillion won (US$2.91 billion) in funds to promote seven promising service industries

- "Master plan" by year-end to give clear policy directions on establishing resort complexes

- Resumes efforts to attract an international theme park to Hwaseong

- Develops areas along the Han River bisecting Seoul into tourist attractions

- Lures world-class foreign education facilities in such fields as fashion, hotel management and music

- Designates "special areas" in mountains to allow the construction of hotels

- Provides support for construction of environment-friendly cable cars in mountain areas such as Mount Seorak and Mount Nam

- Opens a home shopping channel to exclusively sell farming goods and products manufactured by small and midsized companies

- Develops 10,000 new small and midsized exporters by 2017

- Increases exports through e-trade by 10-fold to $300 million by 2017

- Boosts the country's exports of processed foodstuff that use locally produced farm products

(From news reports)

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Korea Herald daum