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Posted : 2013-06-19 17:33
Updated : 2013-06-19 17:33

Mayor promotes Incheon

Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil, right, holds hands with Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, center, and Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo, after the seminar on attraction of investments in local governments at the Press Center in central Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap

By Kang Hyun-kyung


Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil Wednesday called on foreign companies to invest in his city.

In an investors' relations session at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, the mayor said, "Our city is easily accessible through the world's finest Incheon International Airport and world-class harbor."

Song said more foreign investors will have greater business opportunities to fulfill the huge potential demand for their goods and services in the nation's second largest port city.

"If the city can attract out-of-town shoppers, this alone will help Incheon grow further," the mayor said.

Song said these advantages helped the city attract $1.5 billion in investment for the first quarter of this year.

About 400 people, including investors, business leaders, and foreign diplomats, participated in the Incheon Joint Investment Promotion Seminar. Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov and ambassadors from several countries, including the Netherlands, Pakistan, and Egypt joined the event.

Song is the first Incheon mayor who has hosted such a trade promotion event in Seoul.

"We're told that some business leaders hesitated in their investment in Incheon for some groundless rumors about the city's financial status," he said. "We organized this event to send a clear message that Incheon has no such problems and everything has been going well."

In a speech at the event, Ricardo Patino, visiting foreign minister of Ecuador, said his country plans to emulate the development of Song-do International City, a city built from scratch on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along the harbor city's water front.

"We, Ecuadorians, were able to achieve a progress in our economy over the past years because we learned lessons from Korea…. and would continue to work closely together with Korea to seek investment and technology transfer from it," he said in Spanish through an interpreter.

To promote local demand and attract tourists, Mayor Song attracted investment from the global development conglomerate Triple Five. The Mall of Korea Project aiming to construct a mammoth project that will combine shopping, entertainment and a hotel in one facility is now underway in the island of Yeongjong.

During a speech, Marc Vaturi, who is overseeing Triple Five's Asia operations, said the group decided to invest in the city because of its proximity to the international airport and 30 million incoming tourists to Korea a year.

"We feel that with the right product here in Incheon it will allow the residents of Incheon a place where they can go and entertain the family, to do shopping and no further need to go outside their own backyard," he said.

If completed, Vaturi said, the mall will be able to attract people from Seoul and beyond.

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