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Korea unveils blueprint for balanced regional development, innovation

The Presidential Committee for Decentralization and Balance Development unveils

a comprehensive plan for the regional era. 

[Courtesy of The Presidential Committee for Decentralization and Balance Development]

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

The South Korean government introduced a comprehensive plan on Wednesday that involves establishing seven ultra-metropolitan economic zones across the country.

The move is designed to stimulate regional economies that are at risk due to declining populations.

The Presidential Committee for Decentralization and Balance Development unveiled a comprehensive plan for the regional era on Wednesday, which includes creating super metropolitan areas across regions.

A super metropolitan area refers to a region formed by the collaboration of two or more local governments or special municipalities to undertake projects crucial for regional economic growth beyond the municipal or provincial level.

The cities of Busan and Ulsan, along with South Gyeongsang Province, established the first such partnership in April.

Seven regions have expressed interest in participating in the super-regional cooperation project ? Chungcheong Province, Gwangju-South Jeolla Province, Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province, Busan-Ulsan-South Gyeongsang Province, Gangwon, North Jeolla Province, and Jeju.

The Gwangju-South Jeolla region plans to develop infrastructure for new energy-related industries, while Daegu-North Gyeongsang region to focus on fostering future mobility, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics sectors.

Under the government’s plan, measures will be adopted to address the population decline in rural areas by actively promoting an increase in the so-called living population, which includes individuals who spend more than three hours a day in a local area at least once a month for purposes such as tourism and commuting, in addition to registered residents and non-residents.

The committee emphasized the importance of policies that attract and retain people in these regions for various reasons, ultimately contributing to the region’s vibrancy.

The committee has also outlined plans to restructure the existing research and development (R&D) zone and regulatory-free zone, aiming to harness both the realms of technological development and regulatory innovation.

In September, the committee introduced a plan encompassing four special zones, which include opportunity development zones, education zones, urban convergence zones, and cultural zones, all with the goal of bolstering local competitiveness.

The benefits provided for the R&D zone will be expanded to enable companies and researchers to concentrate on their work without being burdened by outdated regulations.

The regulatory-free zones will emerge as “global innovation zones” through expansion and reorganization. The committee announced a comprehensive approach to regulatory exemptions that will be applied to the district, particularly focusing on developing new products in future technologies and facilitating expansion into international markets. In addition, a fast-track system will be implemented to grant temporary permits for new innovations that possess overseas certification.

By Lee Sae-ha, Chung Seok-hwan and Han Yubin

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (November 2, 2023)