Chungcheongbuk-do pushes for Designation of Solar Energy Special Zone

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Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Lee Si-jong, governor of Chungcheongbuk-do

Lee Si-jong, governor of Chungcheongbuk-do

Chungcheongbuk-do is making a strong push for the designation of Jeungpyeong area in the province as a solar energy special zone this year, a top official of the province said.

In an interview with Korea IT Times, Lee Si-jong, Governor of Chungcheongbuk-do, said, "A total of 39 solar cell and module companies, including Hyundai Heavy Industries, SKC, KISCO, Shinsung Holdings, KD Solar, and A-Onetech, are operating business in our province. As a result, the province takes over 60 percent of the domestic total production of solar cells and modules."

Noting that concentration of such solar energy-specialized firms in the Jeungpyeong, Eumseong and Chungju region is expected to accelerate further, Lee said, "Our province is pushing ahead with the designation of Jeungpyeong area as a solar energy special zone. Related to this, we plan to submit an application for the designation to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy at the end of this year."

2010 World Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo

The governor said that the 2010 World Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo, which kicked off on Sept. 16, will be held in Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do, until Oct. 16 to promote the excellence of oriental medicine to the world.

"Under the topic of the 'rediscovery of traditional oriental medicine,' we aim to attract some 1.1 million visitors, including 50,000 foreigners from 15 countries during the 31-day event," he said.

Participants deal with major issues such as globalization and industrialization of traditional medicine at the main halls, such as the Future Oriental Medicine Museum and the Herbal Life Science Museum, along with experience programs such as cultural performances.

"In particular, representatives from 15 countries will exchange their traditional medicine knowledge and experiences at the World Traditional Medicine Museum. Also, seven Korean prestigious oriental hospitals will take part in the exhibition and experience programs," said Lee.

Jecheon is widely known as a hub for the production and distribution of 30 percent of the medicinal herbs produced in Korea, thanks to its natural backdrop of the Taebaek Mountains

He explained that the region has strong infrastructure for the oriental medicine industry and historical background as the major market during the Joseon period (1392-1910).

"For instance, several of the nation's leading pharmaceutical companies are operating in the Jecheon Bio Valley, the Traditional Medicine Industry Center and college research institutes, including the College of Oriental Medicine of Semyung University, the Oriental Medicine Bio Clinical Support Center, and the Food Processing Technology Research Institute of Daewon University College," he said. 

Creation of Osong high-tech medical complex

Osong high-tech medical complex

Osong high-tech medical complex

On Aug. 10 last year, the government designated Osong in Chungcheongbuk-do as the high-tech medical complex.

"Since then, six state-run institutions, including the Korea Food & Drug Administration and some 60 domestic and foreign pharmaceutical and medical instrument manufacturers have moved in to the region. Along with this, five bio medical facilities were established for R&D projects," said the Governor.

Commenting that Osong, which is located in the center of national land, has global competitiveness in terms of production and distribution of medical instruments, Lee said, "The province will build more core medical R&D facilities and attract excellent research centers and manpower to make Osong the nation's most famous high-tech medical complex."

In line with this, the province plans to pour a total of 600 billion won into a project to create commercial, business, cultural and rest space in Osong during the period from 2011 to 2017.

Construction of Chungbuk economic free zone 

"As a strategy to link Sejong City, the administration complex center city, with its neighboring regions, we plan to invest 4.2 trillion won in the Chungju, Cheongwon and Jeungpyeong area during the period from 2010 to 2015," said Lee.

"By doing so, we hope to create the Chungju Airport-centered inland economic free zone, which is designed to actively foster a green growth-type knowledge industry and build a logistics center," he noted.

Along with this, the government is now considering a project to extend the metropolitan subway route to Cheongju Airport from Cheonan by committing 2.4 trillion won. At present, the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs is seriously considering the project to promote convenience for people using the subway and to a expand provincial growth engine through the green New Deal project.

A bird's-eye view of the 2010 World Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo in Jecheon, Korea

A bird's-eye view of the 2010 World Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo in Jecheon, Korea

"At the same time, the government plans to construct a 120.6km expressway linking Chungju, Jeungpyeong, Eumseong, Chungju and Jecheon in a bid to enhance synergistic effects between the Chungju International Airport and state-run projects. The KDI is now conducting a feasibility study on the project at the request of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance," said Lee.

"Finally, we plan to successfully host the 2013 World Rowing Championship in Chungju from Aug. 25 to Sept. 2, 2013 with attendance of some 2,300 athletes and guests from 80 countries," he said.

As a pre event, the International Olympic Committee and FISA, the international rowing federation, will jointly hold the Asian region preliminary competition of the 2012 London Olympics in Chungju from April 20 to 25, 2012.

"Related to this, our province is now preparing a supporting system for the international event and creating an international rowing park in Tangeumho," said Lee.

Asked about the future vision of Chungcheongbuk-do, the governor said, "We will make a strong push for lifelong welfare, ordinary people-first economy, balanced development between farming villages and cities, creative culture & arts, and citizens' participation in the provincial government's policy."