Siheung is on the Road to Becoming Korea’s Investment Mecca
To be better off in this world, we need the ability to foresee things to come. Some people might call this ability the "third-eye". To get ahead of others, we definitely need to have that third-eye view.
When we encountered Siheung City with a population of about 420 thousand, located in the southwestern part of the Gyeonggi Province, which belongs to the Seoul National Capital Area, we deeply felt the need for having the third-eye. Now it is the time to power up our third-eye opening on Siheung's potentials.
Let's take a closer look at Siheung, which is deemed as a land of opportunities and development at this juncture. Surrounded by mountains, rivers and streams, Siheung is equipped with the most ideal conditions for building houses and buildings from the perspective of "feng shui". Compared to other cities in the Seoul metropolitan areas, Siheung's land prices are much more affordable, but when it comes to growth potential, Siheung is second to none. Since most parts of Siheung remain eco-friendly and untapped, this city's growth potential is limitless.
There are several reasons why Siheung has emerged as an ideal location for investors. First of all, Siheung is easily accessible thanks to its superb transportation network. As for companies, smooth communication between different operations is one of the key elements. Geographically speaking, Siheung, which is laying the groundwork to become the hub of the west coast economic zone, is only 25 minutes away from Seoul and 15 minutes away from Incheon International Airport with the opening of the third Kyungin Expressway. On top of that, with easy access to a total of six highways, Siheung is only 10 minutes away from the Songdo International Business District. Besides, with the scheduled opening of three subway lines including the Suin line that links Suwon to Incheon, Siheung will be easily accessible to any part of the Seoul metropolitan areas. In addition, the construction of the Sosa-Wonsi line that links Sosa in Bucheon City to Wonsi in Ansan will begin in April of this year, which will entrench Siheung as a strategic transportation hub.
Mayor of Siheung City, Kim Yun-sig said, "Since Siheung is located near Pyeongtaek Harbor, Incheon Port and Incheon International Airport, it is fair to say that Siheung is the best city in Korea, location-wise." As the mayor mentioned, Siheung is situated in close proximity to ports and Incheon International Airport and even China. Siheung's globalized business environment will make the city more attractive to world-leading companies. Furthermore, Siheung is home to many technical colleges including Korea Polytechnic University (KPU) and Gyeonggi Institute of Technology, so close industry-academia collaboration is another strength for this city.
It has been often said that the endowment of human resources equals a nation's overall power. In that sense, Siheung is more competitive than any other city because securing skilled work forces is easy in Siheung. Packed with industrial competitiveness, eco-friendliness and IT convergence, Siheung is very appealing to investors. As a coastal city, Siheung is at the center of wide-area traffic networks, so companies operating in Siheung can secure competitive logistics networks. The Shihwa industrial park, the axis of the west coast industrial complexes, is located in Siheung and the Banwol Industrial Park and the Namdong Industrial Park are situated in nearby areas. Thus, achieving shared growth among these industrial parks is only a matter of time.
Siheung is strategically pushing for various development projects at the moment
Starting in September of this year, the construction of Seoul National University's international campus will begin. Scheduled to open its classes in 2014, Seoul National University's international campus will significantly help Siheung's innovative efforts to become a global education city as well as a source of highly skilled manpower. Mayor Kim explained that once Seoul National University's international campus, its various education-related facilities, hospitals, and bio-medical R & D centers are built, industry-academia collaboration, formation of knowledge based infrastructures, enhanced regional images and regional economic revitalization will be the sure outcome. Particularly, in an attempt to improve living environment for foreign residents, Seoul National University's international campus and international middle and high schools affiliated with Seoul National University will be built in the Gunja area to meet the shortage of international schools. Equally, a hospital with 500 to 800 sick rooms and the Seoul National University's medical research and training centers will be expected to resolve a variety of health issues related to foreign residents living in Siheung City.
Multi Techno Valley (MTV) development project is another notable undertaking launched by Siheung City on a reclaimed land of 9.26 square kilometers located at the northeastern side of Lake Shihwa, once a polluted lake, transforming itself into a high-tech industrial park. When completed by 2016 as planned, the Shihwa MTV project is expected to vitalize the economy of the west coast region by attracting eco-friendly and high-tech industries. To offer information on its attractive investment environment and investment opportunities to both domestic and foreign investors, Siheung City plans to hold an array of investment seminars on Shihwa's MTV projects this year. In actuality, however, "Siheung has already seen a number of global companies (as of now 95 high-tech firms) actively doing business in the area. Since Siheung offers excellent human assets and lower land prices, domestic and global companies wishing to leap forward by having a new stronghold in Korea will need to pay attention to Siheung," Mayor Kim emphasized. He concluded the interview by saying, "Siheung City will offer vast opportunities for shared growth between domestic and foreign companies and cutting-edge companies and attracting high-tech R&D centers to make Siheung business-friendly."