The G-Tower building in Songdo, Incheon, which will house the World Bank Korea Office / Courtesy of Incheon
Hyun Oh-seok, minister of strategy and finance, has signed an agreement with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to establish the Korea Office of World Bank in the port city of Incheon.
Under the agreement inked earlier this month, Songdo, an international business district built on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along the port city's coastal area, will house the country office, while a liaison office will be set up in Seoul.
Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil welcomed the announcement.
"Following last year's announcement that Incheon will house the Global Climate Fund (GCF) headquarters, the World Bank's Korea Office will create a synergy effect to help Songdo become a new international finance center," Song said.
"Given that the World Bank will manage the funds of the newly-created GCF for three years, the two organizations will be able to work closely together to build infrastructure under which green finance and financing of developing countries can be shared."
Mayor Song's diplomatic efforts were helpful for Incheon to host the office in Songdo.
Song met Kim last October in Seoul when the latter visited Korea for the World Knowledge Forum and asked him to consider setting up the country office in the port city.
Since then, World Bank experts visited Songdo four times up to this May to investigate if the newly-created city has good infrastructure to house the office.
Incheon has high expectations about the economic effects that the office will generate.
Nearly 40 international workshops and conventions will be held at the office annually, the city said.
"This alone will create significant economic benefits for Incheon," an official said.
The National Assembly will approve the agreement this month.
An official announcement will follow in November and the opening ceremony will take place in December.