Service Hub for N.E. Asia in IFEZ
1st Vice Minister Kim unveils plans to build a hub for health care, education, R&D centers, and MICE industry on Songdo inside free economic zone
First Vice Minister Kim Jae-hong of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and representatives of
foreign business firms, international organizations, and educational organizations with offices in the Incheon
Free Economic Zone pose for a photo session on May 22 at the meeting held in Songdo International City.(Photos :MOTIE)
First Vice Minister Kim Jae-hong of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the government will further ease the regulations on the free economic zones around the country, especially those related to the service industry, as part of the government drive to make the FEZs hubs of the service industry in Northeast Asia. He made the statement during a meeting with representatives of foreign businesses, international organizations, and educational organizations, among others, at I-Tower on Songdo inside the Incheon Free Economic Zone on May 22.
The vice minister said the five key sectors of the service industry included in the government push for growth include medical care, education, MICE, professional services, and infrastructure.
Kim said the government plans to make the zone a test bed for the health care market integrating medical care, IT, and tourism to attract foreign tourists.
Also, the government plans to complete the second stage of the plan to make Songdo a center for education in Northeast Asia under the Songdo Global University Campus Plan and provide flexible financial assistance to attract universities and colleges listed among the 50 largest in the world.
In particular, the government will provide support to domestic universities operating campuses in Songdo including Korea University for Foreign Studies, Yonsei University, and Incheon University by setting up a council for consultations in such areas as the exchange of academic grades and joint study subjects.
The government will also provide support to help grow the MICE industry on Songdo by securing the construction of diverse lodging facilities and other structures to cope with rising demand for international meetings and exhibitions by speeding up the Songdo Conventia second stage plan, along with two large complex resort projects in the Yongjong District. The government will also give support to the plan to connect the Incheon Talent College with Huston and Hilton Colleges’ hotel management courses to turn out professional personnel for the MICE Industry, which will have growing demand with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) located in the Incheon FEZ.
The R&D and professional service areas will also be getting government support as well-known global research institutes with various technologies and institutions for analyzing those technologies will be attracted to Songdo, making way for cooperation and for joint R&D efforts with domestic R&D institutes.
The participants at the gathering discussed a number of issues that should be studied further for the success of the moves in order to make the Incheon FEZ a service hub of Northeast Asia.
The issues included the allowance of an experimental medical information and data collection system as a core infrastructure for U-healthcare. A split-type HER is being pushed jointly by GE, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Incheon FEZ Authority.
First Vice Minister Kim Jae-hong of the MOTIE explains the government plan to ease various regulations on
FEZs to support the growth of the service industrial firms 3inside the FEZs including medical care, education,
IT and professional services, among others at a meeting with representatives of foreign and domestic firms inside
the Incheon FEZ on May 22.
They also recommended the flexible management of kindergartens and primary and middle schools inside the FEZs, especially, the number of domestic students allowed in those schools.
There currently are only two foreign primary and middle schools in the FEZs such as Chadwick in Songdo and the International School in Daegu, compared to 50 in Singapore, and 45 in Hong Kong.
They also pointed out the need for joint research facilities that can be used by both domestic and foreign research organizations and businesses inside the FEZs.
They also recommended the establishment of an offshore business center to help international financial institutions that are allowed to provide financing to support green growth in emerging countries to operate more freely now that the GCF is setting up its head office in Songdo.