Seongnam City in Gyeonggi Province is emerging as a center of advanced knowledge-based industry. The Korea IT Times had an interview with Kim Bong-han, president & CEO of Seongnam Industry Promotion Agency, to introduce the city's industrial environment and strategies to prepare for new growth engines for the future _ ED.
Q: Would you introduce Seongnam City's industrial environment
A: Seongnam City is closely adjacent to Seoul, the economic center and the biggest market of the country. The city equipped with good residential and business environment is steadily attracting promising small and medium-sized venture companies.
At present, about 4,000 manufacturing companies are doing business in the city. As of the end of September 2009, the number of venture firms and companies with INNO-BIZ certification stood at 705 and 613, respectively, the largest number in the country. Most of them are high-tech electronics, IT, medical service and bio companies.
They are chiefly located in Seongnam Industrial Estate No. 2 and No. 3 and Bundang region. In 2010, 295 high-tech IT, BT and NT-related companies are scheduled to move into the Pangyo Techno Valley after 2010. Accordingly, Seongnam City is expected to bolster its high-tech industrial competitiveness further.
Also, the city is operating Seongnam Industry Promotion Agency to activate regional economy by improving environment for corporate management and creating an ecosystem for best high-tech industry. Seongnam City is expected to develop into the No. 1 center city of high-tech industry in the metropolitan area.
Q: Would you comment on the Seongnam City's selection of strategic industries to prepare for future-oriented new growth engines
A: With the integration of the global economy in the 21st century being accelerated, the whole world is being integrated into a single economic bloc, entering an era of limitless competition.
Owing to acceleration of technology innovation such as IT, BT and NT and development of knowledge-intensive industry, the industrial economy is being shifted to knowledge-based economy.
Under the slogan of "e-green Seongnam," Seongnam City is emerging as a center of advanced knowledge-based industry. From 2006, the city started a study to find out and select next-generation growth engines. In 2007, it finally selected IT-SoC, mobile and medi bio as the three strategic industries. In 2008, it additionally selected three core industries to be bolstered _ digital contents, new & renewable energy, and age-friendly _ and established relevant road maps.
Traditionally, Seongnam City has strong competitiveness in IT-SoC, mobile and digital contents industries. IT-SoC is a core industry grafting all industries onto advanced IT technology. Mobile is a representative IT industry boasting of high value added in the future. Meanwhile, digital contents are convergence industry combining industries and technology such as IT, CT and BT. These industries have a strong growth potential in the future.
In case of medi bio sector, Seongnam City has 129 medical service-related companies, famous hospitals and research centers. Based on this, the city plans to develop complex service models combining IT, BT and CT.
In the age-friendly and new & renewable energy sectors, the city plans to come out with concrete road map within this year after conducting research and investigation of relevant world technologies and market trend.
The agency is extending comprehensive supports for enterprises in the strategic industries in the management, information, technology, fund, sales routes and start-up sectors. It is pushing ahead with activating regional economy through construction of relevant industrial clusters and persistent growth of regional industries.
In particular, the city is operating a program to support "star companies" by finding out prospective venture firms and fostering them as global enterprises. At the same time, it is implementing a program to activate industrial clusters through strengthening of networking among companies in strategic industries.
Q: Global game hub center and global IPTV diffusion center opened this year. Would you introduce major projects of the two centers
A: Global game hub center opened at AK Plaza in Seohyeon-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam City on June 9 with an aim to make Korea enter ranks of the world's top three game superpowers. By 2012, the center plans to incubate 300 game makers, foster 2,000 professionals to develop multiple platform game and solution, support 50 domestic game global service companies, achieve next-generation game exports of $250 million and create 5.000 jobs through activation of the next-generation game market.
Meanwhile, global IPTV diffusion center was established at Kins Tower in Jungja-dong, Bundang-gu on Sept. 30. The five institutions _ Seongnam Industry Promotion Agency, Korea Digital Media Industry Association, and three IT companies (KT, SK Broadband, LG Dacom) _ jointly participated in the center for early activation of IPTV service.
The center is pushing for IPTV contents manufacturing supports for small and medium-sized companies, offering of open-type platform, development of excellent contents and services, fostering of manpower, and assistance for start-ups. It hopes to generate 160 billion won in production inducement effects, 48 billion won in value added inducement effects, and create 3,000 jobs by 2012.