engineering and rules consultants

Yellow Sea Region Infrastructure Spending and Land-Use/Pricing News

This list includes news about land use, related infrastructure investments, coastal conservation, real-estate prices, and associated values in the countries bordering the Yellow Sea, as well as relevant articles from elsewhere. This list is neither complete nor up to date. However, the most-recent version will be posted indefinitely at this web address. Feel free to pass along relevant articles to james.hadley@factplusfancy.com.

Follow updates at: twitter.com/factplusfancy


Reuters, 2016.08.25 11:12, "Coastal land expands as construction outpaces sea level rise" by Alister Doyle, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-coasts-idUSKCN1101TY

Business Korea, 2016.08.16 09:30, "Growing Education: George Mason University Looks Forward to Continuous Growth, Academic Innovation" by Matthew Weigand, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/features/special-reports/15490-growing-education-george-mason-university-looks-forward-continuous
[Selected quote from Interview with Dr. Steven Lee, president of George Mason University (GMU) Korea] Q: The Korean government agreed to subsidize this campus for the first 5 years [...] how does that affect the school's plans? A: [...] the subsidy started from 2014. We were invited by the Korean government, so for 5 years in addition to a subsidy we get these facilities on a complimentary basis. [...] The State University of New York, Korea is in the position of having to pay rent beginning in the spring of 2017, next semester. But they're in negotiations with the Korean government for an extension. So there is that possibility [...]

Korea Herald, The, 2016.08.10 17:29, "LG CNS pushes ahead with smart firm project in Saemangeum", http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160810000987
[Selected quote] LG CNS, the IT solutions unit of LG Group, is renewing its commitment to creating a smart firm complex in Saemangeum, North Jeolla Province, amid fierce resistance from farmers in the adjoining areas. [...] In February, LG CNS submitted the business plan to the regional government with aims to create a large-scale smart farm complex, called Smart Biopark, on a 230,000 square-meter site in Saemangeum, the reclaimed tidal land on the southwest coast. The company said it will invest a total of 380 billion won (US$350 million) together with UK-based logistics company Advance International Group into creating the complex, which will consist of an advanced greenhouse, plant factory, research center and other processing and distribution facilities. The company also plans to create a joint venture firm with the British partner to support traditional farms to adopt advanced systems. Amid opposition from farmers, the company has pledged to offer opportunities to local farmhouses to join the project. The company also plans to export all farm products overseas.

Business Korea, 2016.08.10 11:30, "Justification Needed: Kangwon Land Opposed to Casino in Saemangeum" by Marie Kim, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/politics/15509-justification-needed-kangwon-land-opposed-casino-saemangeum
[Selected quote] Kangwon Land [...] pointed out that situations in the abandoned mine area in the Gangwon Province and Saemangeum differ from each other. "The Kangwon Land Casino was inevitable for the livelihood of more than 300,000 people in the region who lost their jobs as a result of the government-led restructuring of the mining industry," it explained, adding, "Although the Saemangeum Project is drifting now, a casino in the region cannot be justified in that it entails huge detrimental and intangible effects and the original purpose of the project is farmland supply."

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2016.03.05, Volume 170, pages 83-90, "Drivers, trends, and potential impacts of long-term coastal reclamation in China from 1985 to 2010" by Bo Tian, Wenting Wu, Zhaoqing Yang, Yunxuan Zhou, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2016.01.006

Korea Herald, The, 2016.07.13 13:38, "Samsung to withdraw W7.6tr Saemangeum investment plan: report" by Lee Ji-yoon, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160713000305
[Selected quote] Back in 2011, Samsung and North Jeolla Province signed a memorandum of understanding, under which the conglomerate pledged to invest 7.6 trillion won to create a new renewable energy industrial complex from 2021. But now as Samsung has sold off related businesses such as wind power generation and solar power battery amid its ongoing business restructuring, the group sees no incentives to go ahead with the huge investment plan.

Business Korea, 2016.07.07 10:30, "PPS Production Base: Toray Completed World's First Integrated PPS Plant in Korea" by Jung Min-hee, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/15161-pps-production-base-toray-completed-world%E2%80%99s-first-integrated-pps-plant-korea
[Selected quote] Toray Advanced Materials, a Japanese chemical company, completed a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin and compound plant with a production capacity of 11,900 tons [...] in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province [...] on land of 215,000 square meters [...] with an investment of 300 billion won (US$260 million). The reason why Toray chose Gunsan as a PPS production base is that it will be also able to export the products produced in Korea to China benefiting from the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement. "The Saemangeum Industrial Complex makes it easy for us to supply materials to the plant and gives Toray excellent access to China," said a representative of Toray. "In the complex, we can secure excellent human resources and enjoy a good connection with partner firms and use nice infrastructure such as ports."

BBC World Service, 2016.06.16, "It's like sitting next to someone you know who's dying. Devastating.", http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03y6m4n
[Selected quote] South Korea used to have the most important feeding ground for long distance migratory water birds of the East Asian Australasian Flyway. More than half a million birds depended on the worms and molluscs in an area of tidal mudflat five times the size of Manhattan Island. In 2006, a gigantic Saemangeum sea wall isolated the habitat from the open sea. [...]

JoongAng Daily, 2016.06.07, "Exodus of investors picks up at Saemangeum" by Choi Kyung-Ho, Kim Joon-Hee, and Shin Soo-Yeon, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3019673
[Selected quote] The biggest public development project ever in Korea's history, the Saemangeum reclamation project, faces a highly uncertain future, as domestic investors pull out and foreign investors complain about incoherent administration. [... Including Samsiung and OCI recently] since 2010, 23 pledged investments worth 11.3 trillion won have been withdrawn out of 87 private investment plans worth 14.7 trillion won. [...] The Saemangeum development project began 30 years ago as an ambitious attempt to construct a 33.9-kilometer (21-mile) seawall [...] A total of 9 trillion won has already been invested, and 17 trillion won more is planned by the government. [...] After the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement came info effect last December, Chinese companies became more interested in outsourcing their manufacturing to Korea. Chinese investors can more easily export their products to Europe and the United States if they manufacture them in Saemangeum because of Korea's free trade agreements with those countries. [...] Analysts say that at this point, unprecedented incentives should be offered to foreign companies. Currently, like other domestic free economic zones, the project exempts foreign companies that invest over $30 million from corporate and income taxation for five years and offers a 50 percent tax cut for the next two years.

Korea Times, The, 2016.06.06 12:55, "Sondo Island working to attract Chinese int'l school", http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/06/116_206324.html

Los Angeles Times, 2016.05.31 03:00, "Skyscrapers? Check. Parks? Check. People? Still needed" by Steven Borowiec, http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-korea-songdo-snap-story.html
[Selected quote] Stan Gale, whose New York-based real estate firm Gale International was instrumental in Songdo's founding, declined to say whether the company has earned a profit on its investment, saying it is too early to declare success or failure.

Energy Collective, The, 2016.05.10, "Songdo IBD Visit Highlights Leadership in Sustainable City Development" by Amanda Sawit, Content Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council, http://www.theenergycollective.com/usgbc/2377875/songdo-ibd-visit-highlights-leadership-in-sustainable-city-development
[Selected quote] Songdo IBD was designed to be a cutting-edge example of sustainable city-scale development, and by extension, a model for future deployments of LEED at scale.

JoongAng Daily, 2016-05-12, "IFEZ on way to being the top free economic zone" by Park Hye-Mi, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3018604
[Selected quote] The IFEZ has shown remarkable growth in the past 13 years. In 2015, it attracted $1.26 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), accounting for 82.8 percent of the total FDI in all of Korea’s free economic zones. Having amassed $8.14 billion in FDI since 2003, the IFEZ is at the forefront of the nation’s economic development and job creation efforts.

JoongAng Daily, 2016.04.25, "Massive reclamation fails to justify expense: Saemangeum project was championed by many for purely political reasons" [brief history of project and current status] by Kang Chan-Su, Shin Soo-Yeon, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3017928

Google Earth Blog, 2016.04.19, "Watching land reclamation with Google Earth" [time-lapse satellite photos of Songdo, Saemangeum, Tianjin, etc.] by Timothy Whitehead, http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/04/watching-land-reclamation-google-earth.html

Business Korea, 2016.04.21 11:00, "Saemangeum Development: A Chinese Company Built Solar Power Generation Facility in Saemangeum Area" by Jung Min-hee, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/14479-saemangeum-development-chinese-company-built-solar-power-generation-facility

KBS World Radio, 2016.04.20 15:49, "55% of Saemangeum Transformed Into Land", http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/news_Ec_detail.htm?No=118463
[Selected quote] At the time the seawall was completed in 2006, most of the area of some 409 square kilometers within the wall was under water. Ten years later, nearly 160 square kilometers of 291 square kilometers of the total lot inside the seawall, excluding a freshwater lake, transformed to land. The transformation resulted from continuous reclamation and construction work to prevent water infiltration in a bid to create an industrial complex and farmlands. Out of the nine sectors in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex, reclamation has been completed for sectors one and two. Six companies have entered into the two sectors. The Korea Rural Community Corporation, which is charged with the reclamation work, plans to complete such work for all sectors in the complex by 2020.

IHS Fairplay, 2016.02.24, "Korea broadens incentives for companies at Saemangeum port" by Xiaolin Zeng, http://fairplay.ihs.com/ports/article/4262906/government-offers-incentives-for-saemangeum-investment
[Selected quote] Efforts to promote Saemangeum as an industrial and business centre have fallen short of expectations despite relentless promotion efforts following the establishment of the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency in September 2013. Due to lack of interest, a task force has been convened to come up with new development strategies for Saemangeum. The unit found that South Korean enterprises required more inducements to set up branches in Saemangeum, as existing incentives were mostly targeted at foreign investors. Local companies will now receive the same benefits as foreign ones, such as 100-year leases on tenancies in Saemangeum previously only available to foreign companies. State subsidies will also rise to up to 10% of the cost of investing in facilities within the Saemangeum Free Economic Zone. The high costs and investment risks associated with the major reclamation works for Saemangeum have created difficulties in attracting businesses to the development. Consequently, to facilitate international co-operation on developing the greenfield zone, companies that participate in building up Saemangeum will enjoy up to five years of tax breaks. After a 50% tax cut in the first three years, a 25% reduction applies for the following two years.

BirdLife International, 2016.02.11, "Reclamation of Yellow Sea causing serious declines in migratory shorebirds" by James Lowen, http://www.birdlife.org/asia/news/reclamation-yellow-sea-causing-serious-declines-migratory-shorebirds

Journal of Applied Ecology, 2016.02.01, Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 479–490, "Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at risk" by Theunic Piersma et al., http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12582

Yonhap News, 2016.01.27 10:05, "Gov't to check feasibility of 3 new airports", http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2016/01/27/0200000000AEN20160127002400320.html
[Selected quote] The state-run Korea Transport Institute will carry out the studies on [...] three regions -- Saemangeum, Seosan and Baengnyeong Island [...] The plan will focus on ways to expand the country's low-cost carrier (LCC) market and attract more Chinese tourists in step with airport developments taking place in other parts of Northeast Asia.

PRNewswire, 2015.12.21 10:00, "South Korean company signs first letter of intent to explore deployment of Kemper technology", http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/south-korean-company-signs-first-letter-of-intent-to-explore-deployment-of-kemper-technology-300195757.html
[Selected quote] Southern Company subsidiary Southern Generation Technologies has signed a letter of intent with South Korean company Alps Energy and Kellogg, Brown & Root, LLC (KBR) to evaluate the deployment of the company's proprietary coal gasification technology at the [planned], 1,000-megawatt (MW) Alps Energy power plant in the Saemangeum Industry & Research Area in South Korea.

Business Korea, 2015.11.10 16:30, "Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency, SDIA Signs 2 Trillion Won in Investment Contracts" by Jung Suk-yee, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/12850-saemangeum-development-and-investment-agency-sdia-signs-2-trillion-won
[Selected quote] GreatPoint Energy is a venture firm set up by the Wanxiang Group of China and Dow Chemical at an investment of US$550 million and in possession of 70 or so patents relating to synthetic natural gas (SNG). The consortium is planning to invest 1.5 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex to build SNG production facilities [...] The agency signs another MOU for marine leisure and tourism complex construction with a consortium formed by five companies, including Ilsung Construction. According to the agreement, the consortium invests a total of 500 billion won (US$432 million) between next year and 2022 in order to build marinas, hotels, resorts and water parks.

Times Higher Education, The, 2015.11.08, "Will international campuses in South Korea help secure country's first Nobel prize?" by Jack Grove, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/will-international-campuses-south-korea-help-secure-countrys-first-nobel-prize
[Selected quote] "Winning a Nobel prize is a national obsession," said Jozef Vercruysse, president of Ghent University Global Campus, which is based in Songdo, a new "smart city" 40 miles from Korea's capital on the outskirts of the city of Incheon. [...] Three US institutions -- the State University of New York, the University of Utah and George Mason University -- are also based on the Songdo site, now known as the Incheon Global Campus. The campus aims to host some 10,000 students by 2025, but the scientific research -- backed by much of the £650 million investment provided to the project -- taking place there is also crucial to its success. [...] Ghent currently has 95 students on its courses in South Korea. It will need to raise that number to 1,000 to make teaching work out financially [...] With about 56,000 students from Seoul alone leaving to study in the US each year, there is clearly a demand for Western higher education among South Korea's young people.

Business Korea, 2015.10.27 09:45, "12 Years of Freedom: Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority Celebrates 12th Anniversary of Inauguration" by Jung Suk-yee, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/politics/12631-12-years-freedom-incheon-free-economic-zone-authority-celebrates-12th
[Selected quote] The share of IFEZ's foreign direct investment (FDI) among all eight free economic zones across the nation reached as high as 94 percent last year. In particular, international organizations such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the World Bank, the Association of World Election Bodies and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), all moved to the IFEZ. In addition, the city hosts several foreign universities in its Songdo Global University Campus, including the State University of New York (SUNY), George Mason University, and the University of Utah, attracting the world's attention as a "global education city." Recently, the IFEZ authorities are seeking to build branch campuses of China's Peking University and Tsinghua University. Songdo has succeeded in attracting a total of 25 biotechnology companies, inclduing Celltrion, Samsung BioLogics, Samsung Bioepis, and DM Bio, emerging as a mecca of the global biotech industry. It has now secured the world's second largest bio-pharmaceutical production capacity for a single city. [... The IFEZ] was started in 2003 to be a hub city in Northeast Asia, and has shown remarkable growth since. As of Sept., the IFEZ has attracted 77 foreign investment companies and posted US$6.78 billion (7.68 trillion won) in the total FDI. In particular, it achieved US$1.71 billion (1.94 trillion won) of FDI last year, with 94 percent of US$1.82 billion (2.07 trillion won) in eight free economic zones in Korea.

Science, 2015.10.23 12:30, "China's vanishing coastal wetlands are nearing critical red line" by Christina Larson, http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2015/10/china-s-vanishing-coastal-wetlands-are-nearing-critical-red-line
[Selected quote] Competing policies can also undermine conservation. Coming into play is China's need to safeguard its food supply by maintaining a minimum area of land -- 120 million hectares of arable land -- for growing crops. "Ironically the crossing of the 'red line' on wetlands probably results from trying to achieve the 'red line' on agricultural land," says Spike Millington, chief executive of the South Korea-based East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP)

United Press International (UPI), 2015.10.23 11:34, "North Korea completes construction on $88.4M complex" by Elizabeth Shim, http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/10/23/North-Korea-completes-construction-on-884M-complex/6321445613631/
[Selected quote] In another corner of North Korea, in South Hwanghae province, North Korea has completed a land reclamation project, Yonhap reported on Friday. The reclamation was completed in six areas of Ryongmae Island to bolster agricultural production across new land that spans 3,676 acres. "The map of our fatherland has changed," North Korea said.

Korea Herald, The, 2015.10.20 18:01, "Artificial island to be built for endangered species", http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151018000433
[Selected quote] The Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority said it would construct an 8,900-square-meter-large artificial island in the wetland preservation district in Songdo, Incheon, by late 2018 as part of its efforts to protect internationally endangered bird species. About 5.8 billion won ($5.13 million) will be injected. The wetland in Songdo has served as a habitat and resting place for birds, especially for spoonbills -- of which only around 2,700 exist. Of them, about 300 lay eggs in the Songdo wetland, officials said. In July last year, the Switzerland-based Ramsar headquarters designated the 6-square-kilometer-large wetland in Songdo as the 19th Ramsar wetland in Korea -- such a designation is made only if the area is worth preserving for saving the endangered species.

Korea Bizwire, The, 2015.10.20, "Artificial Island to Provide a Home for Rare Birds", http://koreabizwire.com/artificial-island-to-provide-a-home-for-rare-birds/43838
[Selected quote] With the land reclamation project that made the Songdo International Business District possible came a loss of habitat for blackfaced spoonbills. There are 2,700 blackfaced spoonbills in the world, and 200 to 300 come to Songdo every spring to lay their eggs. After consulting bird experts on numerous occasions, authorities from the Incheon Free Economic Zone decided to created an artificial island. The construction will begin in August 2017, with officials aiming for construction to be complete by the end of 2018. The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of wetland areas. South Korea currently has 21 Ramsar sites, with the Songdo mud flats added to the list in 2014.

Korea Herald, The, 2015.10.13 19:47, "Korea's FEZs appeal to investors as gateway to China" by Seo Jee-yeon, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151013001029

Korea Herald, The, 2015.10.13 19:29, "Songdo benchmarked around the world" by Bae Ji-sook, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151013001020
[Selected quote] Incheon even ranked 43rd in the Economist Intelligent Unit's Hot Spots 2025 Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities in 2013, up 17 steps from a year before. Thanks to such success, the number of residents in Songdo has been increasing by 1,000 a month, and is expected to exceed 100,000 next year. About 3,054 business bodies are operating in the district as of 2013, up 761 from 2007. About 870 business corporations including 57 foreign investment firms have nestled in the city, while the Northeast Asia Trade Tower and 13 international organizations including the World Bank are located inside the U-City.

Korea Portal, 2015.10.08 23:11, "Songdo International Business District Becomes More Popular As A Residential City Rather Than A 'Smart City' And Global Business Hub" by Czarelli Tuason, http://en.koreaportal.com/articles/1667/20151008/songdo-international-business-district-residential.htm

City Metric, 2015.10.02, "China's land reclamation is endangering some of the world's rarest water birds" by Spike Millington, http://www.citymetric.com/horizons/chinas-land-reclamation-endangering-some-worlds-rarest-water-birds-1453

National Public Radio, 2015.10.01, "A South Korean City Designed For The Future Takes On A Life Of Its Own" by Ari Shapiro, http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/10/01/444749534/a-south-korean-city-designed-for-the-future-takes-on-a-life-of-its-own
[Selected quote] The city was supposed to be a hub for global companies, with employees from all over the world. But that's not how it has turned out. Songdo's reputation is as a futuristic ghost town. But the reality is more complicated. [...] Byun Young-Jin chairs the Songdo real estate association and started selling property here when the first phase of the city opened in 2005. He says demand has boomed in the past couple of years. Most of his clients are Korean. In fact, the developer says, 99 percent of the homes here are sold to Koreans. Young families move here because the schools are great. And that's the problem: Songdo has become a popular Korean city -- more popular as a residential area than a business one. It's not yet the futuristic international business hub that planners imagined. [...] "What's happened is, because we focused on creating that quality of life first, which enabled the residents to live here, what has probably missed the mark is for companies to locate here," he says [Scott Summers, Gale International]. "There needs to be strong economic incentives." The city is still unfinished, and it feels a bit like a theme park. It doesn't feel all that futuristic. There's a high-tech underground trash disposal system. Buildings are environmentally friendly. Everybody's television set is connected to a system that streams personalized language or exercise classes. But Star Trek this is not. And to some of the residents, Songdo feels hollow. "I'm, like, in prison for weekdays. That's what we call it in the workplace," says a woman in her 20s. She doesn't want to use her name for fear of being fired from her job. She goes back to Seoul every weekend. "I say I'm prison-breaking on Friday nights." But she has to make the prison break in her own car. There's no high-speed train connecting Songdo to Seoul, just over 20 miles away.

BusinessKorea, 2015.09.09 16:45, "Foreign Influx: More Foreign Residents Cause Changes in Housing Lease Market" by Michael Herh, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/politics/11994-foreign-influx-more-foreign-residents-cause-changes-housing-lease-market
[Selected quote] The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said that Korea had 1,741,919 foreign residents as of January 1 of this year. This figure accounts for 3.4 percent of Korea's total population. Foreign residents in Korea numbered 540,000 in 2006, when Korea began to count them for the first time. Over the ten years, the figure more than tripled. The figure increased 11 percent from 1,569,470 in 2014. In the past, the majority of foreign residents in Korea were U.S. soldiers and foreign embassy employees. These days, demographics varied into employees of foreign companies doing business in Korea, businesspeople, foreign students, and workers. Their residential areas are expanding into areas close to foreign companies, international exchange complexes, and foreign schools.

City Metric, 2015.08.25, "'The gift from the sea': through land reclamation, China keeps growing and growing" by Wade Shepard, http://www.citymetric.com/skylines/gift-sea-through-land-reclamation-china-keeps-growing-and-growing-1350

U.S. Green Building Council, 2015.07.29, "Korea's Songdo International Business District" by Hyunjin Koo, http://www.usgbc.org/articles/koreas-songdo-international-business-district

Yonhap News, 2015.07.28, "S. Korea to remove barriers to investment in massive reclaimed area", http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2015/07/28/0200000000AEN20150728008700315.html
[Selected quote] Currently, Japan's Toray Industries Inc. and Belgian chemicals company Solvay SA have invested 300 billion won (US$262 million) and 120 billion won in Saemangeum, respectively.

JoongAng Daily, 2015.07.23, "Hanjin Group opens last creative economy center" by Kim Ji-Yoon, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3006947&cloc=etc|jad|googlenews

JoongAng Daily, 2015.07.18, "Songdo's student population surges" by Choi Mo-Ran, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3006769

Yonhap News, 2015.07.15, "Visa issuance to be simplified for foreign investors in Saemangeum", http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2015/07/15/0503000000AEN20150715007200315.html
[Selected quote] The number of foreigners that can be hired will be increased from 20 percent to 30 percent of the total number of workers.

JoongAng Daily, 2015.07.11, "Songdo's ambitions partly fulfilled: Affluent Koreans have moved there, but more foreigners are needed" by Choi Young-Jin, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3006475&cloc=etc|jad|googlenews
[Selected quote] As of May, there have been 58 investments made by foreign companies amounting to roughly $3.37 billion. The investments made by Korean companies during the same period numbered 30 and amounted to 3.6 trillion won ($3.6 billion). There are roughly 13 big and small international institutions in Songdo city [...] "We're redrafting our plans for the landmark city, which will likely delay the development significantly," said Park Young-suh of the IFEZ Authority.

PR Newswire, 2015.07.02, "POSCO Attracts KRW1.24tn of Foreign Investment Through Sale of POSCO E&C Stake", http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/posco-attracts-krw124tn-of-foreign-investment-through-sale-of-posco-ec-stake-511314791.html
[Selected quote] This investment will enable POSCO E&C to achieve its twin goals of improving its capital structure and establishing a transparent management system adhering to global standards. POSCO E&C has been focusing on deleveraging efforts over the past 3 years, and the proceeds from the new share issuance to PIF will improve the company's capital structure, hopefully leading to improved credit ratings. With the two PIF appointed directors scheduled to take board seats, POSCO E&C will have a rare chance to become a private company to improve management transparency and operating efficiency to meet the best in global standards.

Korea Bizwire, The, 2015.06.17, "No Fish in Saemangeum Lake as Pollution Levels Remain High", http://koreabizwire.com/no-fish-in-saemangeum-lake-as-pollution-levels-remain-high/36746
[Selected quote] Jeonbuk Green Korea said on June 16 that the water quality at two spots in Saemangeum Lake ranks in the sixth degree by chemical oxygen demand (COD) test results, which indicates that the lake's water quality is at the worst level. [...] the lake has been managed under a water quality improvement project that lasted 15 years and cost 2 trillion won (US$ 1.78 billion), the organization concluded that the lake is polluted at a level that is toxic to fish, after conducting tests from January 2014 to May 2015.

JoongAng Daily, 2015.06.11, "Saemangeum attracts big money" by Kim Hee-Jin, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3005240&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1
[Selected quote] A Chinese producer of solar power equipment will invest 300 billion won ($270 million) in building factories in the Saemangeum Free Economic Zone [...] Chinese solar power company CNPV Solar Power SA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean government. [...] CNPV will become the sixth company to invest in the zone. Others include OCI, a Korean chemical company that will spend 2.2 trillion won on a combined heat and power plant; OCISE, a subsidiary of OCI that will build a coal power plant; Toray, a Japanese industrial product company that will build a plant to produce a high-end resin; Solvay, a Belgian company that will invest 120 billion won in a plant to produce silica; and ECS, a small-sized Korean company that will spend 2.8 billion won on the construction of a heat exchanger. The participation of CNPV, a state-controlled company of China, is expected to create at least 300 jobs, the administration said. "Chinese solar power makers face high barriers to entry in exporting to the United States or Europe because of their high tariffs [against Chinese products]," said Jang Seong-gun, a representative of the CNPV Korea. "But the tariff problems will be resolved if we produce products here in the Saemangeum area because they will be made-in-Korea products."

Korea Times, The, 2015.04.19 17:22, "SK E&C accused of bid rigging" by Lee Kyung-min, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/04/116_177335.html
[Selected quote] even executives of four construction firms were indicted without physical detention on charges of rigging bids in 2009 while participating in the Saemangeum land reclamation project in North Jeolla Province, said the prosecution Sunday. The four companies affected are SK Engineering and Construction (E&C), Daewoo Engineering and Construction, KOLON Global, and GumGwang.

Korea Bizwire, The, 2015.04.08, "Korea to Offer More Incentives to Foreign Investors at Saemangeum Complex" by John Choi, http://koreabizwire.com/korea-to-offer-more-incentives-to-foreign-investors-at-saemangeum-complex
[Selected quote] [...] The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Saemangeum Development Agency announced [...a revised bill...] The bill exempts foreign enterprises in the Saemangeum area from requirements to hire people with disabilities, veterans and senior citizens, which Korean companies with more than 50 employees should abide by. In addition, it simplifies usage of the reclaimed land for agriculture, industrial and research facilities, leisure and tourism, and other categories designated by the Korean president. Currently, development is restricted to eight sectors, which has led to difficulty in attracting foreign investment. The proposed bill also simplifies the licensing process for foreigner-only casinos.

Korea Herald, 2015.03.04 14:45, "Opposition leader urges gov't to build int'l airport in southwest" b, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20150304000911
[Selected quote] The main opposition party's leader urged the government Wednesday to build an international airport in the country's southwest to help attract investment and expand trade with China. Moon Jae-in, chairman of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, made the appeal during a party meeting held at the North Jeolla provincial government building in Jeonju, 243 kilometers south of Seoul, a traditional stronghold of the party. He said the airport should be built in Saemangeum -- a large area of reclaimed land along the country's southwestern coast -- as part of efforts to develop North Jeolla Province. "It is essential to build an international airport in Saemangeum in order to attract large domestic and foreign firms to the area and expand human and material exchanges with China," Moon said. "The government must include a Saemangeum international airport in its fifth mid- to long-term comprehensive airport development plan." [...] "Only by quickly completing the Saemangeum project through greater investments will we be able to revive North Jeolla's stagnant economy," Moon said.

Korea Bizwire, The, 2015.02.28, "New York's Prestigious FIT to Advance into Incheon" by John Choi, http://koreabizwire.com/new-yorks-prestigious-fit-to-advance-into-incheon/30876
[Selected quote] The New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), one of world's best fashion institutes, will offer courses in Korea from March 2017, choosing Incheon for its first foray into the Asian market. The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) announced on February 26 that it signed an MoU with FIT and State University of New York Korea (SUNY Korea) to offer a FIT program at the Incheon global campus of SUNY Korea, located in Songdo. The program is the fourth to be offered at SUNY Korea, including existing courses in technology management, computer science and mechanic engineering.

JoongAng Daily, 2015.02.24, "2 new business zones in Jeolla for China trade" by Kim Ji-yoon, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3001146&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1
[Selected quote] According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Singapore invested $1.6 billion in Korea last year, up 354 percent year-on-year, while China had a 136 percent year-on-year jump to nearly $307 million. Meanwhile, investment from Japan almost halved to $2.07 billion last year from $3.84 billion in 2012.

Jakarta Post, The, 2015.01.23 08:24, "S. Korea offers $10m aid for giant seawall", http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/23/s-korea-offers-10m-aid-giant-seawall.html
[Selected quote] "First, we will conduct research into the project, which would take some time. After that, we will decide the direction: what to do and how to do it," Korea Agency for Saemangeum Development and Investment (KASDI) commissioner Lee Byoung-gook said after a meeting with Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama at City Hall on Wednesday. KASDI is an agency under the Korean Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry. [...] "South Korea has extensive experience in building sea walls, like Saemangeum. Therefore, we are glad that they offered to help," [said Sutanto Soehodho, the governor's assistant for industry, trade and transportation]. The city administration and the central government would form a team for research and implementation, which would consist of officials from the city administration, the Coordinating Economic Ministry, the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), the Public Works Ministry and the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry.

Business Korea, 2015.01.21, "KASDI Holds Investment Briefing for German Companies" by Cho Jin-young, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/8665/attracting-investment-kasdi-holds-investment-briefing-german-companies
[Selected quote] An official from KASDI said, "Since the Samangeum [Saemangeum] Industrial Complex [SIC] focuses on fostering the auto instrument cluster and the fine chemistry and material instrument cluster, German businesses are expected to invest. We will offer excellent benefits to firms occupying the complex, including providing the site at low prices, taxation support, construction of rental housing complexes, and one-stop customs clearance." [...] As Korean and Chinese leaders agreed to create a Korea-China economic cooperation complex in Saemangeum together in July last year, the SIC as a bridgehead for the advancement of China has drawn attention at home and abroad. [...] Currently, KASDI has made agreements for investment worth 13 trillion won (US$11.96 billion) with 81 companies. Japan's Toray and solar power company OCI are constructing the production facilities, and Belgium's Solvay will begin to construct the plant in April.

Korea Times, The, 2015.01.21 22:04, "George Mason to cultivate global leaders" by Chung Hyun-chae, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/01/181_172133.html
[Selected quote] The Korea campus of George Mason University plans to start new degree programs on diverse subjects such as conflict resolution, game design and systems engineering in March 2016. [... Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University] explained that conflict analysis and resolution specializes in the problem of deep-rooted conflict and the cycles of escalation that distract people from their rational best interests. [...] George Mason University Korea established its Korea campus in Songdo, Incheon, in March 2014. It is the second foreign university campus nested on the Incheon Global Campus (IGC) after that of the State University of New York.

Korea Times, The, 2015.01.20 17:58, "Songdo int'l community to kick off networking event" by John Redmond , https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/01/177_172099.html
[Selected quote] The Korea Times spoke with Emily Jean Thomas about what the function of the Songdo Communitiy and its aims beginning with the origins of the group: The group, as in the Facebook page, has existed for about a year and a half. The Foreign Advisory Board has been around for about five years. It began in conjunction with the IFEZ global center [...] This group was formed by independent citizens who are unaffiliated with any central organization, and who come from all different sectors of the community. We are able to create a sense of unity because we are all looking for the same thing: a way to make Songdo a warmer, more interconnected, more human place to live.

Ciaxin Online, 2014.12.12 17:40, "Forestry Officials Find Area Size of Shanghai Misused" by Xu Heqian, http://english.caixin.com/2014-12-12/100762524.html
[Selected quote] Cao Shu, head of [State Forestry Administration] SFA's Chongqing branch attributed the rampant misuse of forestry lands to a flawed oversight regime in which the provincial level government is primarily tasked with enforcing forest land conservation but not held responsible for misconduct in planning, licensing and land development approval. As a result, he said that even though SFA has dispatched higher-level administrators to oversee the inspections, enforcement powers remain weak. Chen Yongfu, vice director of the Institute of Forest Resources Information Techniques under Chinese Academy of Forestry, said that forestry land in China is under the dual administration of the forestry authorities and the Ministry of Land and Resources. "But in practice, they often go their separate ways in areas such as the licensing of forestry land without proper coordination," he said. Chen said that China has yet to introduce a sound forestry land valuation and compensation mechanism and instead, most of the time, the allocation of land is at the disposal of local governments, which makes forestry land particularly prone to abuse in the hands of bureaucrats.

Business Standard, 2014.12.10 21:46, "Songdo -- Too impersonal for comfort?" by Barun Roy, http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/barun-roy-songdo-too-impersonal-for-comfort-114121001133_1.html
[Selected quote] Songdo International Business District, 40 miles Southwest of Seoul, was just a marshy tidal flat in 2000. It was supposed to be ready by 2015, but is only 60 per cent complete as of now and perhaps won't be ready before 2018. [...] Tax breaks, estate support and subsidies are on the cards. No property tax will be levied for 10 years with 50 per cent reduction for the next three years. For now, Songdo remains an architect's model. Its wide sidewalks and roads are still waiting for pedestrians and cars. [...] Even in a smart city, people want glimpses of history and a human touch. Songdo is turning out to be a history-less city, too impersonal for comfort.

Korea Herald, The, 2014.12.07 21:19, "Success requires more than grades: George Mason chief" by Yoon Min-sik, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141207000260
[Selected quote] [Angel Cabrera, president of George Mason University] took an example of the conflict analysis and resolution class, which George Mason is planning to soon add to its programs at the Songdo campus. "It is a multi-disciplinary program that was created by bringing together sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics and policy," he explained. The directive of this approach is to foster leaders who can work "effectively on a global scale" with people who are different from themselves. [...] George Mason University Korea, the domestic campus of the Virginia-based university, opened in March with 76 students. It was the second foreign university to nest in IGC [Incheon Global Campus] after State University of New York. At Friday's news conference, George Mason University said it is adding the new global affairs program next year to its management and economics program. The school aims to enroll 190 students for next year.

Birds Korea Blog, 2014.11.29, "Is Song Do New City an Example of Sustainable Development and 'Good Globalization'?" by Nial Moores, http://www.birdskoreablog.org/?p=13803

Korea Times, The, 2014.11.06 18:08, "Holiday Inn offers comfortable stay in Songdo" by Kim Se-jeong, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/11/320_167687.html
[Selected quote] The district was created by the Incheon Metropolitan Government and has roughly 80,000 residents, and is growing. By the end of 2020, the district will have more than 250,000 residents, according to the Incheon government.

Jakarta Post, The, 2014.11.03 11:14, "Ahok skeptical about giant sea wall project" by Sita W. Dewi, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/11/03/ahok-skeptical-about-giant-sea-wall-project.html
[Selected quote] Acting governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has voiced doubts about the feasibility of the Giant Sea Wall (GSW) project, saying that it might not be an efficient way to tackle persistent flooding in [Jakarta ...] Ahok pointed out that the Saemangeum sea wall, which is located on the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula, was not without problems. "The Koreans struggled to ensure that the water that flowed toward the sea wall was clean, so that it didn't turn into a lake of mud [...] so they had to work on the rivers. But they only have two rivers, while Jakarta has 13 heavily polluted rivers. Thus, flushing will be very problematic. It will also definitely limit the fishermen, which means we will have to relocate them. With the Saemangeum sea wall, three fishermen recently died because they tried to fish in a dangerous area near the sea wall gate."

Want China Times, 2014.10.27 10:02, "Over 50% of China's coastal wetlands gone due to land reclamation", http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20141027000048&cid=1105
[Selected quote] Faced with the challenge of coping with a growing population and seeking economic development, the provinces and municipalities of the Bohai Economic Rim have sought to develop the coastal areas and reclaim land [from the sea...] The considerable tracts of reclaimed land are generally used for creating artificial salt ponds, aquaculture areas, farms, leisure and recreation areas, and as industrial zones. As a densely populated and economically developed region, "We are happy to see the Bohai Bay area enjoying rapid development, but we are very concerned about the biological diversity of the area being lost gradually," said Zhang Zhengwang, a professor at Beijing Normal University's College of Life Sciences, Ecology, and Zoology. Between 1990 and 2008, the reclaimed area rose to 13,380sq km from 8,241sq km. [...] The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development predicted that the country's land reclamation projects could cause 188 billion yuan (US$30.7 billion) in losses per year to the marine and coastal ecological sector, equivalent to 6% of the national gross output value of marine industries.

Want China Times, 2014.10.09 08:57, "Beijing to curb land reclamation to protect marine ecosystems", http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20141009000005&cid=1105
[Selected quote] During a ministry meeting on Sept. 30, Land and Resources minister Jiang Damin proposed to set up marine reservations on the coast to protect marine biology and optimize the management of land and sea resources. Land reclamation should be prohibited especially in bays and estuaries where the sea's ability to flush away pollutants is weak, said the minister. [...] The extent of [coastal-wetland filling] over the past decade has reached 1,100 square kilometers, according to the State Oceanic Administration of China. They have shrunk and changed the shape of China's coastline and threatened marine food chains, coastal biosystems and habitats for migrating birds.

Straights Times, The, 2014.10.04, "Songdo can be 'dead' after dark" by Chia Han Keong, http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/songdo-can-be-dead-after-dark
[Selected quote] Songdo is also a place which gets deserted after dark. While commercial firms have taken root in the district, residents have not been forthcoming -- leaving the area quiet when the sun sets. [...] Yet, the crowds of tourists that continue to mill around Incheon's 130-year-old Chinatown in spite of minimal publicity at the Asian Games go to show that it takes lots of patience for cultures and habits to change.

Atlantic, The, 2014.09.27 10:25, "Songdo, South Korea: City of the Future? The thrills and disappointments of Asia's half-finished 'high-tech utopia'" by Ross Arbes and Charles Bethea, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/songdo-south-korea-the-city-of-the-future/380849/
[Selected quote] The city was built for a future that hasn't yet arrived. Songdo's wide sidewalks and roads -- evoking a movie set -- are still waiting for pedestrians and cars to fill them. [...] Pedaling the island's 20 miles of paths, past the popular NC Cube outdoor shopping mall, past the tennis courts in the shadow of the Incheon bridge, past modest residential buildings on the outskirts of town, past the international campuses of the University of Utah and George Mason University, past fences covered in red roses, biotech labs, empty plots, half-completed buildings, and even a purveyor of Dippin' Dots ("ice cream of the future"), we finally arrived at the lonely sea wall where this unlikely and incomplete city began.

JoongAng Daily, 2014.09.22, "Expats make Songdo cosmopolitan" by Song Su-Hyun, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2995172&cloc=joongangdaily|home|top
[Selected quote] The total number of foreign residents in Songdo was around 1,500 as of June, according to the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) Authority. That figure rose from about 1,100 last year.

Want China Times, 2014.09.18 08:58, "Bohai reclamation projects threaten migratory bird habitats", http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20140918000007&cid=1105
[Selected quote] A Chinese research team made up of experts including Su Jilan, an academician at a research institute run by China's State Oceanic Administration, has found that during the 2006-2010 Five-Year Plan Beijing launched to boost economic development, land reclamation projects in coastal provinces and cities around China created some 5,000 square kilometers of new land. [...] The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated in its report on tidal flats in Southeast Asia that migratory bird habitats on tidal flats in Bohai Bay have suffered the most severe damage compared with others in the region. [...] On the Google Earth map, the west bank of the Liao River in Liaoning province's Panjin, which is situated on the northern coast of the Bohai Sea, is covered by 80,000 acres of sea cucumber farms, which have engulfed the mud wetlands that used to be the habitat of migratory birds. Water birds can't use the sea cucumber ponds because they are too deep, Ma Jijun, an assistant professor of life science at Fudan University in Shanghai, said in the report.

Korea Herald, The, 2014.09.12 21:42, "Songdo aims to become NE Asia's education hub" by Yoon Min-sik, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140912000899
[Selected quote] [On 2014-09-08] joint opening ceremonies of Ghent University and the University of Utah [were held] at Songdo Global University Campus. Government officials present at the event -- including Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok -- vowed to put their shoulder to the wheel in establishing the best infrastructure and overall learning environment for foreign-based universities. The State University of New York, Korea, and George Mason University made Songdo their home in 2012 and March 2014, respectively. Ghent University, the first European university to set foot in Songdo, was ranked 40th in the Times Top 50 Life Sciences Universities ranking for 2013-14. It will provide classes for around 900 local and foreign undergraduates. The University of Utah, the flagship educational institute of the state of Utah, will offer psychology, journalism and social welfare classes to 225 undergraduates. It will also run public health programs for graduates.

JoongAng Daily, 2014.08-26, "Songdo style: How wise is Korea's 'smart city'?" by Andrew Stokols, http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2994022
[Selected quote] The "Eco cities in the Making" conference [was] held last week at Yonsei University's new Songdo satellite campus. The forum explored the potential of Songdo to serve as a model for future eco-cities worldwide. But it also underscored the limitations of the approach Songdo has pursued. "There's no question Songdo has been successful in marketing itself as a compact eco-city," said Bernhard Muller, a city planner visiting from the German city of Dresden. "But I'm skeptical that Songdo will be the model for future cities." Muller added that the high cost of developing high-tech cities will limit their applicability in developing countries [... Scott Summers, the vice president of foreign investment and marketing for Gale International] credits the Incheon Free Economic Zone, a district with special tax and other incentives that was set up by the government in 2003, for conceiving and implementing the vision for Songdo. The idea for a new city began in the 1990s as the national government sought to create an international business hub for Northeast Asia near Incheon International Airport. Delayed by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the project was revived in 2001 when the government brought in Gale, a private firm known for suburban office parks in the northeastern United States. It had never done anything on the scale called for by Incheon's ambitious city officials. The idea of turning an economic hub into a new type of "smart compact city" came later, in 2004, when Gale partnered with Cisco Systems [...] There are 33,000 residents so far, according to Gale, with a total of 65,000 planned for when construction wraps up in 2018, and only about 50,000 employees of a planned 300,000. Partly due to the 2008 financial crisis, the completion date was pushed back to 2018 from 2014, and as of early this year the project had barely earned a profit besides recouping the initial capital investment, The Wall Street Journal reported. "I'll be honest, when we first started I thought, 'Oh boy, Gale was going to make $400 or $500 million profit in five years,'" said Jonathan Thorpe, Gale's CIO. "That obviously hasn't happened, but we believe in the long run we will do very well. "It's a legacy project" [...] Although advertised as a compact city, Thorpe admits that some of the design features were not optimal: "The streets are too wide, I agree," said Thorpe. This was something that Gale and the architect firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates had little control over due to national building codes mandating street width and fire access. Yet despite efforts to project a green image, environmentalists aren't convinced that Songdo lives up to its claims as an environmentally friendly city of the future. "The 'eco-city' concept is just an excuse for more development," says Park Eun-seon, an environmental activist and director of the civil society group Listen to the City, who attended the conference at Yonsei. "They got rid of the endangered spoonbill [birds] that used to live in the wetlands before the landfill. They are trying to say they are protecting nature, but it's not true."

Korea Herald, The, 2014.08.21 21:03, "Korea widens door for foreign colleges: Measures to lure foreign investors spark both expectation and concern" by Yoon Min-sik, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140821000612
[Selected quote] According to [an Education Ministry official], the Fashion Institute of Technology at State University of New York and other specialized colleges are interested in expanding to Korea. [...] Contrary to the ministry's claims to only host top-notch schools, many of the foreign universities in Korea or attempting to enter are ranked around 100th or lower. Most of the foreign-based universities in Songdo have annual tuition fees of around $20,000, which is considerably higher than the average annual tuition of Korean universities at 6.67 million won ($6,512). For comparison, a student would have to pay roughly twice the amount he or she would pay for Yonsei University -- whose yearly tuition is the highest of all Korean universities at 8.67 million [won] -- for a year of classes at George Mason University in Songdo.

Korea Herald, The, 2014.08.03 18:12, "More resorts, casinos, hospitals to be built in FEZs" by Jung Min-ho, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/08/113_162224.html

BloombergBusinessweek, 2014.07.23, "Korea Eases Property [Home-Loan] Rules With Household Debt at Record" by Cynthia Kim and Seonjin Cha, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-23/korea-eases-property-rules-with-household-debt-at-record

New York Times, The, 2014.07.22, "Stanley C. Gale" Interview by Vivian Marino, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/realestate/commercial/thirty-minute-interview-stanley-c-gale.html?_r=0
[Selected quote] Q. What's the status of Songdo city? A. The city is open and operating -- it's 60 percent built. It will be completed in time for the Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018. Q. Do you have anything else in the pipeline? [...] We love the boutique residential niche market. [...] We're going to be very Manhattan-centric.

Wall Street Journal, The, 2014.07.10 16:04, "For Rent: South Korea's Biggest Skyscraper" by Nam InSoo, http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2014/07/10/for-rent-south-koreas-biggest-skyscraper/
[Selected quote] The 68-story Northeast Asia Trade Tower, built at a cost of $614 million, is part of a $35 billion project to establish a business district in the built-from-scratch city of Songdo. [...] While Songdo's condominiums have sold well, about half of the commercial space in the city's gleaming office skyscrapers is empty. [...] "Since the start of the project, we've asked for government incentives and tax favors to be available not only for foreign companies but also for domestic firms. But still, that's not the case," said a Gale official. The government has said offering tax and other administrative benefits to local companies moving into Songdo will discriminate against other Korean firms operating in other parts of the country. Now the task of filling the office space of the tallest building is in the hands of the two owners—Daewoo International Corp. and Posco Engineering. Both companies are units of Korean steel giant Posco. [...] "We've just started to look for tenants, but prospects aren't rosy. It's a headache for us," said a Daewoo spokesman.

Korea Bizwire, The, 2014.07.10, "Toray Industries Invests in Saemangeum by Constructing PPS Plant" by John Choi, http://koreabizwire.com/toray-industries-invests-in-saemangeum-by-constructing-pps-plant/14456

Korea Bizwire, The, 2014.07.05, "China Eyes Investment Opportunities in South Korea" by M. H. Lee, http://koreabizwire.com/china-eyes-investment-opportunities-in-western-areas-of-south-korea/14046
[Selected quote] The Chinese investors are, in particular, eyeing China valley in Saemangeum area -- a designated China-themed commercial land in the artificially created economic area [...] Last year, the two countries agreed to designate the China-Korea Common Economic Space in the Saemangeum project, a first such inter-national economic cooperation between China and Republic of Korea. The Korean government plans to transform around 400 square kilometers of newly reclaimed land into a multi-purpose mega city equipped with high-tech industries, educational facilities, research facilities, coupled with residence and commercial accommodation areas by 2030. Breaking down Chinese investment into Korea [...] Korea's service sector: US$708 million, or 93% of investment in Korea in the first half this year [...] On the manufacturing sector, the Chinese invested US$51 million in various businesses including transportation machinery ($30 million) and electronics and electric business ($13 million). China money especially focused on South Korea's "non-capital areas." While the investment in the metropolitan area decreased 51.9 percent, their investment in Jeju ($497 million) and Gangwon Province ($150 million) surged [...]

Korea Bizwire, The, 2014.07.04, "Foreign Investors Allowed in Saemangeum Development Project" by John Choi, http://koreabizwire.com/foreign-investors-allowed-in-saemangeum-development-project/13974
[Selected quote] The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced on July 2 the plan to induce more investment in the project among private sector operators and foreign investors. [...] With the plan, the ministry expects more investment from Chinese companies [...] The Saemangeum project, filling the tidal mudflat with seawalls with the length of 33.9 kilometers, began in 1991 [...] The ministry is striving to induce money from the private sector in the second phase of the project to convert around 400 square kilometers [...] into a multi-purpose city by 2030. The ministry expects it will cost approximately 21 trillion won. However, as the land reclamation project needs a huge amount of money to remove the seawater of the land fully inside the walls, not much investment was made in the project. The government thus allowed the developers to resell the developed land up to 50 percent to induce more investment.

Korea Times, The, 2014.06.18 19:30, "University of Utah set to open Songdo campus in September" by Chung Hyun-chae, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/06/181_159379.html
[Selected quote] Students who enroll at the university's Korean campus can choose three undergraduate courses: social work, communications and psychology. In addition, the school will offer a master's degree program in public health. The school plans to add more degree programs from the fall of 2015.

Korea Herald, The, 2014.06.01 20:37, "IFEZ to make Songdo more business-friendly: Commissioner pledges more incentives to attract overseas investment" b , http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140601000183
[Selected quote] In a recent interview with The Korea Herald, IFEZ commissioner Lee Jong-cheol said he would continue to work on attracting more businesses and global organizations to Songdo in efforts to make it even more business-friendly. [...] "In this fast-changing and globalizing era, unnecessary regulations do more harm than good," said the commissioner, who proclaimed in April that he would make all-out efforts to streamline bureaucracy in the IFEZ. He also asked for the active participation of the central government in the initiative to remove red tape in order to successfully reform the administrative structure.

JoongAng Daily, 2014.04.15, "Targeting future direct investment: Foreign exchange students get private lesson in economics" by Kim Hae-yoon , http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2987911&cloc=rss|news|joongangdaily
[Selected quote] "The [Songdo] resident registration population of Songdo reached 75,000 in March, and this vitalized the real estate market here," [said Lee Woo-hyun, an official of the IFEZ authority]. "We are about halfway through the Compact Smart City project, which we hope to finish by 2020 to become the center of Northeast Asia international business."

Business Korea, 2014.04.07, "Making Land: Six Organizations Cooperate in Forming Saemanguem China Valley", http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/3970/making-land-six-organizations-cooperate-forming-saemanguem-china-valley
[Selected quote] A joint system was built among the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Korea Agency for Saemangeum Development and Investment (KASD), the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business (KFSM), Industrial Bank, and Jeollabuk-do, for the smooth construction of the so-called "Saemanguem China Valley," which is Korea's first inter-state special economic zone. The six organizations above signed a pact to support the Korea-China economic zone at KOTRA Headquarters in Seoul on April 4.

Korea Times, The, 2014.03.12, "Offering global learning experience: George Mason University celebrates opening of Songdo campus" by Bahk Eun-ji ,
[Selected quote] George Mason University (GMU) President Ángel Cabrera [...] visited Korea March 8-12 to celebrate the official opening of the Songdo campus. "We were very pleased when the Korean government approached us about the possibility of locating a campus in Songdo. George Mason University has a Korean student population of 129, and our main Fairfax campus is located in northern Virginia where most of the Washington, D.C., region's nearly 100,000 Koreans live. [said Cabrera in an interview.]

Salt Lake Tribune, The, 2014.02.26 01:01, "University of Utah to open Korean campus in September: Mostly Asian students will attend project financed by South Korean government" by Lindsay Whitehurst, http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57597090-78/campus-korean-university-students.html.csp
[Selected quote] The [University of Utah] won't spend any state public money on the venture. The South Korean government is paying for the university to set up operations there, providing at least $1.5 million a year for the first four years as well as a $10 million interest-free loan the U. doesn't have to pay back unless its campus there is profitable. The school will also use the $350 million campus for free for the first five years. [...] Tuition will be about $20,000 a year, a similar price to what international students at the [University of Utah] pay. American [University of Utah] students who study in Songdo will pay in-state tuition.

World Finance, 2014.01.21, "Could Songdo be the world's smartest city?" by Rita Lobo, http://www.worldfinance.com/inward-investment/could-songdo-be-the-worlds-smartest-city
[Selected quote] Ghost town. Pre-planned cities have been around for centuries, and they always face the same challenges: how to attract residents and businesses to a new, untested, and unpopulated area. China has faced this problem as the building boom of the early 2000s encouraged developers to invest in new cities and shopping districts that ultimately failed to attract buyers. Songdo is very well connected, and the business facilities are second to none, but attracting inhabitants may still be a slower process than developers hoped for. [...] while Songdo is not yet a hit with the international business community, young professionals have flocked to its leafy boulevards looking for a better lifestyle than the hectic streets of Seoul can offer. But businesses may soon follow, attracted by the skilled workforce provided by the universities, the sustainability credentials and the tax breaks. "It's the occupants who make a city," Jonathan Thorpe, CIO of Gale International, the American developer behind Songdo, told the BBC. "You're trying to create a diversity and a vitality that organic development creates, in and of itself," he explained, "so it's a challenge to try and replicate that in a masterplan setting. At the same time, with a masterplan you have the ability to size the infrastructure to make sure the city works -- now and in 50 years' time." And the brains behind Songdo have thought carefully about financial incentives for businesses. Companies relocating to the district will have access to tax reductions, estate support and subsidies. No property tax will be levied for 10 years, followed by three years where businesses need only pay 50 percent of taxes due; small- and medium-sized companies will also be considered for rent reduction; and employees of companies with over 30 percent international investment will be able to claim a variety of perks -- from location subsidies to promotion results compensation.

Radio Free Asia, 2014.01.20, "Police Hold Seven After Clashes at Chinese Fishing Village" by Xin Lin , http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/clash-01202014144501.html
[Selected quote] More than a dozen residents of Aoshan village near Putian city [Fujian province] were injured in the clashes with police amid widespread opposition to the forcible reclamation of local coastal waters and the imminent destruction of their seafood farms. "Villagers here can easily make 10,000 yuan[ U.S. $1,652] [out of a seafood business]," a resident of Sanjiangkou township, which administers Aoshan, said after the clashes. "This village is like one big family, according to law, and they are coming to our home to cause trouble," said the resident,

Korea Times, The, 2014.01.15, "George Mason Univ. going global" by Bahk Eun-ji, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/01/181_149860.html
[Selected quote] "The quality of education we provide in Songdo and the quality of the education we provide in the U.S. are identical," said Matthew Zingraff, president of George Mason University Songdo, during an interview with The Korea Times.

Ecns.cn, 2014.01.08 17:18, "China experiments with ways for rural land transfer" (Xinhua), http://www.ecns.cn/business/2014/01-08/96052.shtml
[Selected quote] In China, trade of urban land has evolved into a vigorous market over the past years, but land deals in the countryside have remained largely static as farmers mostly have rights to use, but can not directly trade or mortgage them. For many farmers who are working in cities, their rural homes and land have been left unattended, yielding neither crops nor revenue. [...] It is considered a great waste of land and unfair for farmers.

Fast Co Exist, 2014.01.07 08:03, "4 Smart Designs For New Cities That Can Withstand Any Storm: Without serious preparation, most cities will be overwhelmed by rising waters..." by Adele Peters, http://www.fastcoexist.com/3024389/4-smart-designs-for-new-cities-that-can-withstand-any-storm
[Selected quote] After a massive typhoon in 1947, Tokyo built a network of dams, but it still isn't really prepared for flooding; a similar storm today could affect 2.3 million people and cause $400 billion in losses. Since the government can't afford to build and maintain more mega-dams, architect Kenya Endo proposed a design that builds barriers around a river using sediment collected from current dams. "It's a new type of dam that could interplay with urban design, enrich the ecosystem, as well as store water," Endo says. The barriers would create a network of wetlands that can help bring back native wildlife while protecting the city from floods. The system can also purify the city's drinking water supply. Unlike a typical concrete dam, it can also create parks where kids can play.

Last Modified: 2016.08.27
Copyright ©2014-2016 Fact Fancy, LLC.