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The planned sites for promoting or attracting foreign direct investment include foreign investment zones, free economic zones and free trade zones.

Industrial sites are divided into planned sites and individual sites. Planned sites refer to industrial locations developed under a plan by the central or municipal governments or private businesses. It includes national industrial complexes, general industrial complexes, urban high-tech complexes, and rural industrial complexes. Individual sites refer to areas where individual businesses build their factory by obtaining the necessary permits or licenses by purchasing a factory site in an area outside an industrial complex. The planned sites for promoting or attracting foreign direct investment include foreign investment zones, free economic zones and free trade zones. Designation requirements, and types of businesses will differ depending on the locations designated for foreign direct investment and various investment incentives will be provided.

Foreign investment zone

The foreign investment zone is designated and notified to facilitate foreign investment and attract large-scale foreign investment. It is categorized into complex-type, individual-type and service-type, which vary in terms of the designation requirements, occupancy requirements and limitations and investment incentives. A complex-type foreign-investment zone is designated to provide (lease) factory sites at a low cost to promote investment of foreign companies that possess advanced technologies including high-technology. An individual-type foreign investment zone is a tailored location for investors they can choose and designate the investment zone. A service-type foreign investment zone refers to areas designated for lease or transfer to foreign-invested companies operating a service business such as an R&D business, finance business, knowledge-based business, culture and tourism business, and industrial support service business.

Free economic zone

Free economic zones are special economic zones designed to actively induce foreign direct investment by guaranteeing free business activities and investment incentives to the maximum possible extent, primarily by alleviating various regulations while improving the business and living conditions of foreign-invested businesses. Also, a wide range of free business activities are guaranteed by providing various tax incentives, deregulation, convenient living conditions and simplified administrative services.

Free trade zone

Industrial complexes, airports, seaports, distribution complexes, freight terminals, etc. are designated as free trade zones to attract manufacturing and logistics businesses and to create a synergy effect by clustering such businesses. Free trade zones create favorable business conditions for foreign-invested companies engaged in export-oriented manufacturing business, logistics business and wholesale for import and export. In a free trade zone, companies can benefit from tax deduction and extended lease period depending on the line of business and investment size. Also, customs duties are deferred for goods introduced into a free trade zone, and a zero rate of value added tax is applied. Free trade zones have the advantage of not having to undergo complicated procedures for refunds, etc. when exporting products manufactured with imported raw materials.

Industrial sites for foreign investors
Industrial Sites for Foreign Investors

Industrial Site System

Designated Region

No. of Locations

Foreign investment zone


Cheonan, Daebul, Sacheon, Ochang, Gumi, Jangan 1, Inju, Dang-dong, Jisa, Jangan 2, Dalseong, Oseong,

Cheonan 5, Woljeon, Munmak, Jincheon-Sansu,

Songsan 2, Iksan (Foodpolis), Chungju, Gumi (parts), Pohang (parts), Iksan (parts), Changwon (parts),

Mieum (parts), Songsan 2-1, Gwangyang Sepung



Manufacturing (67 companies), logistics (2), tourism (7), R&D (1) 

Service-type Daejeon, Seoul 2
Rental complex for foreign-invested companies in Gyeonggi Province

Hyeongok Industrial Complex, Poseung Industrial Complex, Chupal Industrial Complex, Eohyeon-Hansan Industrial Complex


Free trade zone

Industrial complex-type

Ulsan Free Trade Zone, East Sea Free Trade Zone, Gunsan Free Trade Zone, Gimje Free Trade Zone, Daebul Free Trade Zone, Yulchon Free Trade Zone, Masan Free Trade Zone


Ports and airports-type

Port of Busan, Port of Pohang, Dangjin-Pyeongtaek Port, Port of Gwangyang, Port of Incheon, Incheon International Airport


Free economic zone

Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone, Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone, Incheon Free Economic Zone, Yellow Sea Free Economic Zone, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone, East Coast Free Economic Zone, Chungbuk Free Economic Zone


* Although the designation of Free Economic Zone in Saemangeum area was cancelled as of April 6, 2018, Saemangeum project is still underway due to the Act on Saemangeum Project.

the information above is provided only as a reference for users and we are not legally liable for the errors in the content or the consequences of use of the information.  
Please use the information above for reference purposes only and confirm the final information with relevant domestic law or administrative agencies.

The information above is provided by the Korea Industrial Complex Corp.

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Byeon Gyeong Hyeon Manager