Since his inauguration, Governor Chung Woo-taik has continued to stir up his officials into a business mind, putting emphasis on deregulation, strengthening a variety of incentives for investment, and laying a foundation of infrastructure for business activities. As a result of his incessant efforts, Chungbuk province has succeeded in inducing 41 large domestic companies along with an investment amount of 11.88 trillion Korean won (US$12.8 billion). Recently, the Korea IT Times had an interview with Chungbuk Governor Chung to hear about his policy direction as well as his ambitious business plan.
Among the above-mentioned 41 domestic companies, the typically known companies are Hynix Semiconductor, SK Chemical, Youngbo Chemical, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Korea Iron and Steel. In particular, in the case of worldwide Hynix Semiconductor, its investment amounts to 8.70 trillion Korean won (US$9.36 billion), the largest investment amount per unit business project in Korea, creating 8,000 new jobs. Let's imagine how many cooperative business partners will go with this investment.
Entering the second half of year 2008 all these companies will get down to construct their factories, thus creating nearly 20,000 new jobs, and being followed by numerous related business partners. Consequently, a huge industrial linkage effect will ensue. In addition to these, Chungbuk plans to build several industrial parks, establishing a one-stop service system, creating an atmosphere of honoring businessmen, and consequently bringing a perfect business environment for companies in this province.
Success in inducing foreign capital
Until now after his inauguration, the provincial government, in an effort to attract foreign capital, has made every effort to establish an investment network through AMCHAM members, foreign trade centers, overseas cluster management agencies, and global banking and fund organizations.
As a result of these efforts, Chungbuk has succeeded in inducing foreign capital of US$350 million including three US companies whose investments stand at US$150 million.
Among these foreign companies, the typical companies are: VGX making research on biological products and producing medicines, Avanti NanoScience producing advanced nanotechnology devices, Stack Pole producing many high-tech auto parts, and CVRD INCO, the maker of environmentally friendly materials. Most companies are composed of biotechnology companies or high-tech ones.
Most favorable investment environment in Korea
The new brand slogan of Chungbuk is BIG Chungbuk. BIG Chungbuk symbolizes a strong and dynamic Chungbuk, and BIG comes from the initials of biotechnology, information technology, and green technology. That is to say, high-tech industries and green technology industries are being well harmonized in this area.
In an effort to become a biotechnology hub of Northeast Asia, Chungbuk is constructing an exclusive bio industrial park called O-song Bio Science Park, which has come near to completion.
The four government-run institutions including the Korea Food and Drug Administration as well as global bio companies such as US's VGX and LG Life Science of Korea are scheduled to enter this biotechnology park. Meanwhile, Chungbuk also has an Ochang Science Park in which many high-tech companies including Hynix Semiconductor are to settle down. Ochang Park has prepared an exclusive foreign investment zone of 805,955 square meters, and O-song Park has arranged an exclusive foreign investment zone of 301,709 square meters. Because of these special economic zones, more foreign investors are expected to rush to Chungbuk.
Wonderful traffic and logistics center
Chungbuk is located in the center of Korea. Four major highways -- Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Jungbu Inland, and Central -- run through this area vertically, ranging from north to south, and also three highways pass through this province horizontally ranging from east to west. That is to say, all four north-south highways and three eastwest highways interchange in this area, thus making it possible to gain access to Chungbuk within two hours from anywhere across the nation. Also, the four railroads . Gyeongbu, Chungbuk, Jungang, and Taibaek - go through this area. In particular, the Osong railroad station of the new Honam Express Railroad to be built will become a gateway to Sejong City, a new administration city of Korea, which is now under construction. In addition to the highways and railroads, the Cheongju International Airport is to play an important role as a gateway to Sejong City.
As mentioned above, the key word of the provincial government administration is a business mind. Making the general public including businessmen and officials do their best in order to stimulate and boost the economy of this province has been the most important policy direction of the Chungbuk provincial government. For the implementation of this policy direction, the local government has adopted the following four strategies: all-out efforts to attract both domestic and foreign capital by way of providing the most favorable investment environment, creation of new jobs through economy boost and stimulation, pursuit of balanced growth through the promotion of specialized businesses by region, and improvement of quality life based on the expansion of culture, sightseeing and art.