Ulsan, Gimje in North Jeolla Province, Pohang in North Gyeongsang Province, and the Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port area spread across Gyeonggi and South Chungcheong yesterday were designated as free trade zones covering a combined 4.33 million square meters.
Six million square meters covering Masan in South Gyeongsang Province and Busan Port and Gwangyang Port in South Jeolla Province were also designated as free trade zones.
The Knowledge Economy Ministry said yesterday, We made the decision through due deliberation of the free trade zone committee. Three areas will be designated as preliminary free trade zones since they must be evaluated for environmental impact and due deliberation of the metropolitan area reorganization committee.
They will be officially designated free trade zones early next year. The three areas include Gimje, part of Busan port (Ungdong District), and Pyeongtaek-Dangjin Port.
Free trade zones can attract foreign investment and exporters since companies located within a zone qualify for tax breaks. For example, a company can borrow land in the zone for just one percent of the land price and are exempted from tariffs.
A ministry official said, This free trade zone is the first joint project between the central and provincial governments. Provincial governments will have a bigger role in running free trade zones and strive to attract companies to enter.