Pending years-old tasks, such as elevating Gangwon-do to a special economic self-governing province and the installation of the Osaek Cable Cars on Mt. Seorak, will be pursued in earnest under the new government.
Elevating Gangwon-do to a special economic self-governing province, which was the new government’s first public pledge on Gangwon-do, could be enacted as early as May.
The Special Committee on Regional Balanced Development, under the umbrella of the presidential transition committee, held a meeting on balanced development of the Gangwon-do area at Sky Convention in Chuncheon on May 2.
They pledged to carry out 15 policy tasks, including the elevation of Gangwon-do to a special economic self-governing province, and 35 other detailed tasks.
Chairman Kim Byung-joon of the Special Committee on Regional Balanced Development made three promises, including ramping up regional decentralization, the new government’s vision of regional balanced development, strengthening regional fiscal power, and 15 national agenda items.
Prof. Park Ki-kwan of Sangji University Public Administration Department explored a roadmap for 15 policy tasks in the seven sectors at the Gangwon-do area, as well as other detailed tasks.
The establishment of Gangwon-do as a special economic self-governing province would give autonomy over structural operations, such as administrative bodies and quotas of officials, grant fiscal privileges such as the establishment of a fund for the development of a special economic self-government province, and it would also allow regulatory reform for industrial privileges.
A bill on the elevation of Gangwon-do as a special economic self-governing province is to be submitted to a subcommittee of the National Assembly Public Administration and Security Committee soon.
The new government is also pushing for the relocation of public entities, reflecting the characteristics of the Gangwon area.
It plans to expand metropolitan transportation networks and port infrastructure. Related project includes the simultaneous ground-breaking of both sides of the planned Samcheok-Yeongweol Expressway, and the construction of the Cheorwon-Goseong Inland Expressway, Sokcho-Goseong Expressway and Cheorwon-Goseong DMZ Expressway.
The new government will push for the East-West High-Speed Railway connecting Chuncheon and Sokcho, upgrading a railway route linking Samcheok, Donghae and Gangneung into a high-speed one, the early pushing of the Yongmun-Hongcheon railway route.
They will also pursue the construction of the Wonju-Cheorwon inland high-speed railroad, the extension of GTX-B Line to Chuncheon and the transition of the Donghae Port Phase III PPP project to a fiscal one.
The new government will nurture new growth industries according to each sphere: the data industry in Chuncheon, the digital health care industry in Wonju, the metaverse platform industry in Gangneung, the smart farm and smart tourism industries in northern Gangwon sphere, the liquefied hydrogen hub city in southern Gangwon sphere, forest cluster, e-Mobility and so on.
Gangwon Land will be restructured into a four-season multi-purpose leisure-tourism district to reinvigorate the economy of the closed mining area, and a duty-free outlet catering Koreans will be set up there.
The Special Committee on Regional Balanced Development also announced international tourism city projects according to five spheres: the Chuncheon lake sphere, marine resources in the pan-East Coast sphere, city renewal in the closed mining districts, international peace in the borderland and Olympic heritage in the Olympic venues.
The committee plans to fully carry out the new government’s 15 policy tasks for regional balanced development, based on the seven public pledges to each city and province President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol made during his presidential campaign.
Chairman Kim of the Special Committee on Regional Balanced Development, said, “The Seoul metropolitan area is losing competitiveness due to overconcentration, but the non-Seoul metropolitan area has had never competitiveness, so it could undermine competitiveness fundamentals.”
“It is not a matter of conservatives vs. liberals, but it is a matter that depends on the future of all of us,” he added.