Cheju Island, South Korea



Cheju Island 
Key Part of Government's Strategy
Leaping Forward To Become Hub of Asia
International Development Consultants, LLC
Septembre 2002

Centre Coréen du Commerce Extérieur et des Investissements
Part of 2002 Article Quoted Below


South Korea is set to leap forward to be a hub in Asia .

Located between the two powers of China and Japan and further Russia , South Korea has been the geopolitical hub of Northeast Asia , witnessing myriad number of invasion or war between the giants.
Now it is now trying to utilize its geographical location and high-end technologies to emerge as a local business hub and the gateway to the Asian market of two billion consumers...

Cheju to Serve as Gateway

South Korea 's master plan for the business hub also includes its southernmost province of Cheju to make most of its traditionally unique role.

Seoul last November announced a plan to create an international free city on the island as gateway for foreign investors and tourists from around the world.

In a meeting chaired by then Prime Minister Lee Han-dong, the government endorsed the plan to turn the island into a hub city in East Asia , where a free flow of human resources, commodity and capital, coupled with maximum guarantees of enterprise activities, is possible.

The plan features, among other things, the extension of visa-free passage for foreign arrivals, especially allowing nationals of 17 hitherto-forbidden countries such as Vietnam , Mongolia , Cambodia and Pakistan to enter the island without visas.

The visa-free initiative will be applied on a gradual basis and foreign visitors will be allowed to enter the mainland without visas within a limited scope. Chinese people will also be able to visit the island without visas under the new plan.

According to the plan, the island will extend the maximum period of stay by foreign tourists to 30 days from the current limit of 15 days through a revision of the Immigration Law.

Foreign experts in such areas as foreign language education, information and communications, bio-engineering and the tourism industry will be able to stay for up to five years from the current limit of three years.

Investors, both domestic and foreign, who pour between $10 million and $30 million into tourism facilities, will be exempted from corporate and income taxes for three years after the start of business, a move aimed at expediting the inflow of foreign investment.

Tariffs will not be imposed on imports of equipment and other facilities for such foreign invested companies.

Foreign investors who enter the so-called free trade zone near Cheju International Airport will be exempted from corporate, income and provincial taxes for seven years.

To provide convenience for foreign investors, all administrative organizations on Cheju will have to receive and offer official documents in English.

Elementary, middle and high schools on Cheju will be permitted to employ foreign teachers for a maximum of three years.

To expedite the development project, the government plans to pour 2.9 trillion won for the construction of infrastructure such as an airport, ports and roads, and another 1.7 trillion won for the construction of industrial complexes, residential and shopping areas, and parks.

Tax-free shops will be set up at airports and ports exclusively for local consumers to provide them with the chance to shop at a discount.

The construction-transportation ministry recently announced that students who has lived for longer than three years overseas are qualified to be enrolled in international schools on Cheju Island . The former time period was five years.

The ministry said it plans to place workforces for foreign language services in government offices on the island.


© Copyright
Dr. J. Michael Cobb
 IDC International Development Consultants, LLC.