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Leisure Facilities Allowed on Unused Industrial Sites

Posted March. 19, 2004 23:02,   


Construction of leisure complexes such as amusement parks will be allowed in industrial park sites and filled-in ground areas as early as the second half of the next year.

Starting next year, new film production companies, ad agencies, hotels, daycare centers, and senior welfare facilities will receive a 50 percent corporate tax break for four years.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Lee Hun-jai announced a measure aimed at strengthening the competitive edge of the service industry on March 19.

The first-of-its kind measure allows leisure complexes to be built on unused industrial sites or filled-in areas.

As of late last year, the unused sites totaled 20 million square meters, which includes 10.3 million square meters in national industrial sites, 9.35 million square meters in local industrial sites, 260,000 square meters in agrarian and industrial complexes, and 91,000 square meters in free trade zones.

The most likely sites for a leisure complex are the Kimpo land fills and Cheongra industrial compound, both in Incheon, Jeongkwan compound in Busan, Guji compound in Daegu, Pyongdong compound in Gwangju, and Daedeok Techno Valley in Daejeon.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy plans to launch a taskforce to produce measures to deregulate land use.

There is concern that new leisure complexes will concentrate in the Seoul metropolitan area and areas circling large cities and undermine the even development of the country.

There is criticism that deregulation of industrial land use on the pretext of job creation will accelerate the hollowing of industry in the long run.

Regarding the public concerns, Kim Dae-yoo, policy director at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, said, “It’s not that all unused industrial sites will be used for leisure facilities.” He added, “The possible sites will be finalized by the taskforce.”

The government plans to exempt acquisition and license fees and offer a 50 percent land tax break for service firms that will move into the industrial zones.

Also, it will give a tax credit to ad agencies and daycare facilities as an incentive to improve productivity.

Jin-Hup Song Ki-Jeong Ko jinhup@donga.com koh@donga.com