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Tech cluster plan advances

The government said Monday that it would accelerate the launch of the country’s biggest tech cluster in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, to develop the area into a Korean version of Silicon Valley.

Government ministries agreed to lift the greenbelt development restrictions on the area by the end of this year, six months ahead of the initial schedule.

To meet the December deadline, the ministries are pushing to submit the master development plan for the Pangyo Creative Economy Valley and file for state designation as a special tech cluster zone by June.

The completion of the tech cluster is scheduled for 2019, and is set to host 100,000 employees in 1,500 firms. The construction of the mega tech valley involves a 1.5 trillion won investment, according to the Land Minstry.

The announcement came in the joint ministerial conference in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, which was attended by the chiefs of six government bodies, including the Finance Ministry, Science Ministry, Trade Ministry, Land Ministry and the Gyeonggi provincial government.

“The government will pour all-around systematic support to make Pangyo Creative Economy Valley an emblem of South Korean creative economy,” the Land Ministry said in a press release.

Last September, President Park Geun-hye praised the new tech valley in Pangyo as “the potential Silicon Valley of South Korea,” promising “continuous patronage and support.”

The government said the new tech valley would be able to “see rapid investment gains,” claiming that the tenant companies would be able to start business as early as the second half of next year.

The government will put the first batch of the tech zone, dubbed “I-Square,” on sale for public subscription as early as the first half of 2016. The investor relations sessions will start in the second half of 2015, with the first allocations to take place in 2017.

Pangyo Creative Economy Valley aims at attracting many anchor companies and global tech firms so that their partnerships with the valley’s tech start-ups and ventures can achieve synergy effects.

The government will also build a support hub for business start-ups and a public intellectual industrial center within Pangyo Creative Economy Valley. These centers will allow some of its SMEs to rent office spaces at the cheaper 70 to 80 percent of the market prices, in addition to various tax exemption benefits.

“The (existing) Pangyo Techno Valley is small in scale and lacks the necessary government-backed support for business start-ups and innovative tech firms,” the Ministry of Land said.

By Chung Joo-won  (