SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government announced a plan to create a business friendly environment by revising laws limiting investment this year.
According to the plan, two new integrated resorts with casinos, an additional 5,000 hotel rooms and four duty-free shops (three in Seoul and one in Jeju) will be constructed to add tourism infrastructure. In addition, development of the KEPCO headquarters site and U.S. 8th Army‘s Yongsan garrison in Seoul will be accelerated.
On January 18, the government released its plan to develop the country’s tourism industry, and to revitalize investment focusing on innovative companies. The plan, the government expects, will stimulate more than 25 trillion won (US$23.2 billion) overall, prompting the spending of 16.8 trillion won of already earmarked funds, while attracting 8.5 trillion won of investment in new businesses related to tourism infrastructure.
Construction will begin on the two integrated resorts next year, after selecting the operators during the latter half of this year. They will be finished in 2020. The government will lift limits imposed on the integrated resorts, which currently stipulate that major foreign investors should have at least a 51 percent share in order to let local players join in the projects.
A government official said, “Now, anybody including large companies such as Samsung and Hyundai can participate in the projects through fair competition.”
The government also plans to allow four more duty-free shops this year and will revise additional permission based on the number of foreign tourists in every two years. In addition, it will add 5,000 more hotel rooms by 2017.
For the site of the former KEPCO headquarters in Seoul, the government will support Hyundai’s plan to start construction work as early as next year in cooperation with Seoul city government, to shorten related paper work.
Additionally, for the Yongsan development project, the government will accelerate development plans by approving plans by April, so investment can be made in the second half of this year.
Meanwhile, some 5 trillion won will be invested to enlarge the Pangyo Techno Valley, south of Seoul, by at least two-thirds beyond its current size. In addition, the government will designate six new high-tech urban industrial centers this year.
By John Choi (email@example.com)