South Korea is accelerating the designation of free economic zones in Daejeon and Sejong, located 2-3 hours south of Seoul, which was a key commitment of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol during his campaign.
While the designation is under review by Yoon’s transition committee, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy in charge of the case has joined the legal safeguard process. The odds are pretty good for the nomination, as candidates in the June local elections pledge to support her.
If completed, Daejeon and Sejong will be the country’s 10th free zones eligible for tax and deregulation benefits aimed at improving the business and living environment for foreign-invested enterprises.
The ministry said on Thursday it had launched a commissioned study in response to the designation, adding that it would seek to examine options for support without legal obstacles in the review of the current law in accordance with the FEZ designation.
In September last year, the metropolitan authorities of Daejeon and Sejong began drawing up a plan for the designation, and they plan to apply for the designation to the ministry in August at the earliest.
The ministry will also introduce measures to breathe more life into designated free economic zones by moving to a negative regulatory system, leaving minor changes in development projects exempt from the mandatory review authority.
By Baek Sang-kyung and Minu Kim
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