|Chang Soo-man |
Commissioner, Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority
Emphasis on Nurturing Leading-Edge Manufacturing & Tourism
Greatest Edge Lies in Logistics
Through its combination of shipbuilding, marine transportation and IT, the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority differentiates itself from other Free Economic Zones at home and abroad.
Commissioner Chang Soo-man of the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority said in a New Year Interview with the Korea IT Times, "Tith this strategy in mind, the Authority is devoting its utmost efforts to nurturing the three pillars of logistics, state-of-the-art manufacturing and tourism on which the future economy of the Zone will stand."
He said he is confident the Zone is able to serve as the most suitable manufacturing location for multinational corporations including automobile companies, plus automobile parts and machinery manufacturers because such businesses can curtail enormous transportation costs thanks to the Busan area's excellent edge in terms of logistics.
The Commissioner also mentioned that together with its strengths in terms of logistics, the forte of the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone is that it can serve as an advanced base for state-of-the-art manufacturing for multinational enterprises as well as an excellent tourism and recreation area.
In that regard, the Zone has drawn additional investments from Renault Samsung and British leisure park company, SnowBox as a result of recent promotion via overseas road shows. Commissioner Chang emphasized the Zone's strong point in terms of logistics once again, adding that compared to anywhere else in the world, there is no better place than Busan, Korea to cut down on logistical expenses
The Korea IT Times spoke with Commissioner Chang concerning the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone's differentiated investment attraction strategy as well as its development plan to leverage its competitive edge.
Q: What kind of impetus does the Busan area's geographic advantage give its Free Economic Zone
A: I think there is no better place in the world strategically than Busan.
First of all, over half of the domestic automobile industry is concentrated in this area. For that reason, it is natural that automobile parts companies would want to locate here.
Furthermore, there is a cluster of the world's top shipbuilding and machinery industries here in Busan. We believe that if such industries are "Grafted" onto our local IT industries, the industrial base could be developed in a more value-added direction.
Q: We believe that each of the Free Economic Zones should compete on their peculiar individual features to attract more multinational corporations. In that regard, what is the strong point of the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone
A: I would like to stress that there is no better harbor in the world than Busan in which to curtail logistical expenses because of its location. Above all, Busan has best facilities with which to distribute cargo easily and quickly to Japan, China and Russia.
After Busan New Port is constructed, Busan's logistical competitiveness will become stronger. Right now, Gamcheon harbor is being earmarked as the location for a logistics complex. International logistics corporations are seeking to locate in the harbor. In particular, Japanese corporations have expressed interest because there is no better place than Gamcheon harbor to send cargo directly to Japan.
Q: We understand that Renault Samsung Motors decided to locate its expansions here in consideration of the important factors mentioned above. Can you explain the company's investment decision in detail
A: Renault Samsung's investment decision comes from their judgment that this is the best place to save on logistical expenses.
The Renault Group said that during the next three years, the Group plans to invest a total of 600 billion won to produce environmental-friendly next-generation engines and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) with a view to nurturing Renault Samsung Motor Company as "a Hub for Asia".
Engines manufactured here will be supplied to the Renault Group all over the world including Japan's Nissan Automobile, and the SUV vehicles will be marketed to Europe, the Americas, and China when they come on stream in 2007. Renault Samsung Motor Company has been fingered as a global manufacturing base for the Renault Group. We think that Renault Samsung's decision to invest here is a good example of taking advantage of what Busan has to offer.
Q: How do you rate the Busan as a tourist destination
A: Its beaches, hotels and tourist amenities such as casino and the Busan aquarium make it the most ideal destination in Northeast Asia
What's more, Busan holds numerous festivals such as the Pusan International Film Festival which could contribute to building the tourism industry.
Of special importance is that SnowBox of Britain, a worldwide specialty leisure firm, has exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Busan Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority to erect an indoor ski dome, indoor sports facility, shopping center and hotel.
Along with SnowBox's investment, an F1 motor racecourse will be constructed in the Ungdong area while the Busan/Kyungnam Race Track is expected to be an anchor activity for the tourism industry of the south coast.
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