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Gov`t announces project to develop coastal economies

Posted December. 29, 2010 11:09,   


A ten-year project worth 50 trillion won (44 billion U.S. dollars) will develop Korea’s East Coast into the center of the domestic energy and tourism industries and the West Coast into a hub of the knowledge and high-tech sectors.

With the announcement of the plan on general development of the two coasts following the release of a blueprint on development of the South Coast in April, the government has presented all plans on the mid- to long-term development of the three coastal regions surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry said Tuesday that it finalized a plan on the general development of the East and West coasts that includes these and other measures. The Committee on Development of the East, West and South Coast and Inland Regions reviewed the plan.

The development of coastal regions is in line with the national strategy to create industrial clusters by combining the specialized and infrastructure industries of regions with research and development functions, as well as proactively utilize their culture and tourism resources.

Under the general plan, the East Coast will become a “blue power belt” focused on energy and tourism to spearhead green growth. The region will be developed into an energy industry belt that generates 60 percent of domestic energy production.

Additionally, the East Coast will secure competitiveness for infrastructure industries by strengthening connectivity between industrial sectors and lay the foundation to become an international tourism hub.

The plan for the West Coast is a “fusion and integration belt” of knowledge and high-tech industries that spearhead the economic prowess of the pan-Yellow Sea economic bloc. While serving as a hub of international business, the region will form a mechanism for pan-Yellow Sea cooperation and position itself as a top-rated high-tech industry belt by cultivating major and new sectors in the region.

To this end, the government will spend 24.8 trillion won (21.59 billion dollars) through 2020 on the East Coast and 25.2 trillion won (21.94 billion dollars) on the West Coast, including private capital. When implemented, the plans are expected to have a generating effect of 48 trillion won (41.8 billion dollars) on the East Coast and 52 trillion won (45.3 billion dollars) on the West Coast, while creating 260,000 jobs on each coast.

Specifically, the East Coast will specialize as the pan-East Coast international exchange and tourism belt; the East Coast marine science belt will focus on nuclear energy, energy and marine science; and the triangle industry belt on shipbuilding, petrochemicals and automobiles.

An “ultra-wide area energy belt” in this region will comprise the major pillar of the nation’s energy supply hub. A nuclear energy cluster comprising Ulsan, Gyeongju and Uljin, a Northeast Asian oil hub in Ulsan, and a general energy hub in Samcheok are also slated under this plan.

The areas spanning Ulsan (cars and shipbuilding), Gyeongju (parts and energy), and Pohang (steel and new materials) will be interlinked as a “triangle industry belt,” while those linking Gangneung, Donghae, Samcheok and Ulsan will be cultivated into a new material bio cluster.

The West Coast will specialize as the “super Gyeonggi Bay belt (business, logistics and high-tech) and South Chungcheong as the West Coast belt (international tourism, leisure and infrastructure). The Saemangeum belt will become a low carbon, green growth hub and promote renewable energy sources.

In addition, a new strategic industry belt will interlink the nation’s flagship industries, including display and semiconductors (Paju, Hwaseong, Pyeongtaek and Asan), and cars (Hwaseong, Asan, Hongseong and Gunsan) with new industries including aviation (Incheon, Gimpo and Gunsan), aviation and leisure (Taean County), shipbuilding and marine leisure (Hwaseong and Gunsan), robotics (Incheon), and bio industries (Hwaseong). Additionally, tourism hubs will be created that leverage the unique characteristics of each region.

The centerpiece of the general plan on the South Coast’s development announced in April was the creation of marine tourism and leisure belts and the formation of logistics and new industry hubs.

The Hallyeosudo belt comprising Yeosu, Sacheon, Tongyeong and Geoje will be developed into a foreign tourism complex, family resort and leisure complex, while the Dadohae (archipelago) belt will become a center of the marine sports and leisure industry.

The Namdo Culture belt comprising Gangjin, Suncheon and Namhae will house a healthcare complex, while shipbuilding clusters will be built at many sites along the South Coast.

A Land Ministry official said, “The government will seek to implement projects in phases starting with those expected to have high impact on provincial development and ripple effects in each coastal region, and proactively seek to attract foreign and private capital.”