Lee Won Jae Commissioner of Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority
I will contribute all my passion and
energy into opening a brighter future for
all of us in Incheon and across Korea.
Happy New Year! As Commissioner of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority, I wish all citizens of Incheon a very Happy New Year in 2020! As this new year, the year of Gyeongja (庚子), has just been opened for all of us, it is my sincere hope that all your plans and dreams may be materialized in the coming year!
I assumed my position as IFEZ Commissioner with the start of the hot summer in July 2019. Following my personal motto that ‘solutions are found at operation sites,’ I conducted several visits to the sites of major projects across Songdo, Yeongjong, and Cheongna International Cities. I have also done my best to listen to the voices of our citizens. As such, I have been able to identify our shared hopes and aspirations, and this has renewed my spirits with fresh confidence. These experiences brought home the fact that the IFEZ is a doubtless growth engine for both Incheon and Korea — a city with immense potentials for even greater development.
My role has taken me on business trips to Europe in order to attract investments. I was gratified to see that, even overseas, the competitiveness of the IFEZ is being acknowledged. The leaders of world-leading economies, such as Germany, Switzerland, and the UK, showed approving responses to the IFEZ’s excellent locational strengths and cutting-edge business infrastructure. They expressed sincere interest in learning how global corporations that have already moved in have fared. This gave me a surge of confidence in my heart, telling me, ‘We can really do this!’
We must make 2020 a year for IFEZ’s hopes and potentials to become reality. The keyword for this vision is ‘Innovative Growth.’ The Startup Venture Polis, POOM, will serve as a prime example once it is completed in Tomorrow City, in the latter half of 2020. Songdo International City already has many research institutes and businesses with healthy startup ecosystems. We will exert our best efforts to materialize POOM’s early settlement by providing various related support tools and necessary infrastructure.
I have very high expectations that we will witness a significant transition in the growth of Cheongna International City in 2020. Launched with a touching opening ceremony in 2019, construction on Cheongna City Tower will go into full operation mode in the latter half of 2020. I am confident that all citizens of Cheongna International City will observe the daily changes in their city with joy, pride, and gratification at levels that match the tremendous high-rise buildings currently in construction.
Equally noteworthy is how Yeongjong International City is actively operating its base-building as an international city for tourism and leisure. After opening Terminal 2 in 2018, Incheon International Airport has now switched its focus to full operation of its Step 4 construction. Through this project, it is expected that increased demand for passengers will contribute to an activated local economy and developments around the airport. There will also be synergic effects generated through the Inspire Integrated Resort, set to open in 2022.
The IFEZ cannot but take on each new challenge with a sense of hope and conviction, as we have been gifted the deepest interest and encouragement from you, our wonderful citizens of Incheon and readers of IFEZ Journal. Both your praises and sharp criticisms are equally cherished as most valuable resources to ensure our betterment. I promise that we will never settle for small victories but will consistently strive for newer, greater endeavors. Throughout 2020, I will contribute all my passion and energy into opening a brighter future for all of us in Incheon and across Korea.