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Jeju is one of the best places to do global business ⓒJeju
“Jeju has a visa-free system so that you can come and stay in Jeju for one month without a visa. As the Special Self-Governing Province, Jeju is able to develop an institutional base quickly to catch up with changes in the domestic and overseas investment environments. We also have the Global Education City, which makes Jeju pleasant to live and do business in. I do believe that the business environment supported by this infrastructure makes Jeju attractive and competitive globally.”
Jeju has 16 international cities with over 1 million population, such as Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, and Taipei, within three-hour flights. JEONG Eunju, Deputy Director of the Investment Division of the Jeju Provincial Government, says that Jeju is one of the best places to do global business as the Island is equipped with excellent business infrastructure and institutional competitiveness.
2004 was a turning point for Jeju to break free from the traditional industrial structure consisting of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, and related service businesses. In order to boost the local economy, Jeju decided to shift its focus to “business attraction and a transition to new-growth industries.” As a result, the Jeju government enacted the “Provincial Ordinance for Investment Attraction and Promotion” in 2004, based on which investment attraction from home and abroad has been a major push going forward.
JEONG Eunju, Deputy Director of the Investment Division
The ”Jeju Investment Promotion Zone” policy is specific to Jeju, granting the same benefits to domestic and foreign investors, including tax exemptions and national and public property rent. As Jeju began to roll out its investment attraction policies, IT players like Daum Communication (currently Kakao Corp.) and NXC knocked on the door first. At present, many companies that used to be based in greater Seoul have extensive presences in Jeju by moving their operations, making new investments, or expanding their existing businesses. Besides, a significant number of call centers and company training centers are also present in Jeju.
IT and BT businesses are most prominent in Jeju in terms of investments. Recently tea producers and pharmaceutical companies are preparing for their new facility investments and to move their operations to Jeju. “Moving to Jeju is not an end,” stressed Jeong. “Jeju should be a quality partner for the businesses to enhance their value.”
A case in point is Mr. Milk Inc. a premium dairy producer taking advantage of Jeju’s clean image after investing in Jeju. Jeong mentioned that the company’s growth has led to local job creation, employee training, and to income growth.
“The brand ‘Jeju’ is conducive to corporate value increase because the brand comes with images of pristine nature and unique Jeju culture. It also invokes the interest of potential investors. As of 2021, Jeju attracted investments worth USD300.72million from 27 Korean companies hiring 2,700 people. And foreign direct investment also showed steady growth from 2009 and onward,” Jeong explained.
FDI in Jeju recorded USD 398 million as of December 2020, being ranked 4th after Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Ulsan. The cumulative amount reached USD 4.753 billion. Jeong asserted that the investment attraction policies should be further expanded. “It was the Chinese businesses that came to Jeju for large-scale development projects for tourism. We need to invite investments from more diverse countries,” said Jeong.
Arrival Amount of FDI and New registration of foreign firms trends
Jeju revised the “Provincial Ordinance for Investment Attraction and Promotion” in an effort to facilitate investments in new-growth sectors and improve the incentive packages. The revised ordinance serves as an institutional ground, on which the government would support facility investments for transferring companies in the new-growth sector, and land and facility investments for foreign companies. In addition, the government has a plan to subsidize facility and housing costs for new and renewable energy facility companies with the goal of going carbon-free by 2030.
Investment consultation and briefing session for domestic and foreign companies ⓒJeju
“I believe that one of the local government roles is to listen to the voice of the companies on the scene and find out policy approaches or institutional solutions for troubleshooting and improvement of the situation. From our continuous communication with them, we learned that the transferring companies felt burdened by additional costs incurring just because Jeju is an island,” explained Jeong. That’s why the local government began supporting their logistics and housing costs for them.
On top of this, the Jeju government provides a subsidy to companies moving from greater Seoul to cover their employment and training. It has relaxed the support criteria for transferring companies from the other areas. The support criteria applicable to the culture industry and IT businesses were made more realistic and practical in terms of normal employment size. In addition, the eligibility for the office rent support scheme for a preparation period before the invested business goes live has been expanded to companies with investment agreements.
Jeong mentioned, “The number of decent jobs should increase for young talents so that they continue to dream in Jeju and make their dreams come true. To this end, Jeju must help the residing companies grow and be successful. The Jeju government will continue to refine its infrastructure and system for the benefit of potential investors looking to Jeju. If a company wants to grow into a global name, it should turn to Jeju.”
Island Work Labs, a Jeju’s workation project ⓒJeju
The Investment Division introduces the local trend and
news of Jeju through http://investjeju.or.kr/.
Deputy Director Jeong Eun-ju of the Investment Division emphasizes that Jeju is an excellent counterpart for businesses. Activities include the workation(remote work from holiday stays), project undertakings with companies, the Jeju promotion targeting Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, online newsletter creation to communicate the investment environment of Jeju, and management of the website “Invest in Jeju” and social media to publish the industry trend and newsfeed are the activities intended for potential investors and investment agencies at home and abroad.
At present, Jeju is undertaking new pilot projects related to Industry 4.0 involving the aerospace, the smart city, the drones, and the EV businesses with the aim of building an industrial ecosystem to take another leap. Furthermore, given that Jeju is a clean zone with well-protected biodiversity, biotech businesses, including cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are highly interested in Jeju. That’s why the Jeju government devises and implements investment policies to maintain a business-friendly investment environment amid the pandemic and tumultuous global and economic landscape.
※ Contact the Investment Division for inquiries and consultation on investments / business transfer and settlement / investment incentives (email@example.com, 064-710-3371~5)