As the Incheon Free Economic Zone delivers all the ingredients for a successful free economic zone, multinational corporations such as ABN AMRO and Morgan Stanley are expressing their full confidence in the zone's projects. The Korea IT Times spoke with CEO Lee Hwan-gyun of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority regarding the Zone's strong points as well as major projects.
Q: What are the strong points of the IFEZ
A: IFEZ has an ideal geographical location due to the presence of the international airport, seaports, tourism and leisure facilities, efficient infrastructure including world-class IT, and western-style living conditions, delivering all the ingredients for a successful free economic zone. The government has also provided many investment incentives. As a result of these strong points, companies such as ABN Amro and Morgan Stanley have expressed their full confidence in the project.
Q: What are the weak points
A: The following two disputes have been the most common concerns. Some foreigners say Incheon is not safe because of the unstable political situation on the Korean peninsula, including North Korea's nuclear issue, but there have been various remarkable improvements between both sides recently so I can say there is no security problem.
Some people worry about Korean labor unions - about their hostility toward proprietors. We honestly admit that there have been inappropriate connections between politicians and enterprisers, but rational and transparent business management has taken root through the efforts of the new government and the labor unionstrust toward management has recovered gradually. Furthermore, the workforce of the IFEZ will be mostly global-oriented highly educated people, much less prone to illegal strikes.
Q: Would you tell me the result of your efforts at this moment in inducing companies to move to the IFEZ
A: Many Korean companies have decided to move to this zone for their future business, but only a few foreign companies at this time. The Gale Company, the American real estate developer, has committed itself to investing $12.7 billion to build an international business hub. DHL, the international courier company, is making a major contribution to the new logistics presence. Prominent American schools and hospitals, taking advantage of our consulting service, are preparing to set up operations in the IFEZ.