S. Korea to spend 13 tln won to stimulate border area development

Feb 08, 2019, 09:20 am

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AsiaToday reporter Kim In-hee 

South Korea plans to spend 13.2 trillion won (US$11.7 billion) in border areas, whose development has been stalled due to overlapping regulations, by 2030 to lay groundwork for a balanced regional development.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety announced Thursday a ‘Comprehensive Border Area Development Plan’ that has been approved by the government’s Border Area Policy Deliberation Committee. The plan was established by eleven ministries in 2011 aimed to support the border areas comprehensively and systematically. Under the plan, the government has invested 2.8 trillion won (US$2.5 billion) over the past eight years on developing tourism projects, building industrial complexes and expanding transportation infrastructure.

The change of the comprehensive development plan was carried out in order to reflect the new policy demands and enhance the feasibility of the plan in order to promote sustainable development in the border areas.
The expanded investment reflects changed situations at home and abroad, including improved inter-Korean relations and the need for balanced regional development. In particular, the plan has significantly expanded social infrastructure that is in short supply compared to other cities and provinces in order to improve the quality of life of residents.

The modified plan focuses in four fields – stimulation of ecological and peace tourism, expansion of social infrastructure, promotion of balanced regional development, expanding the base for inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation. 

The money will be spent on 225 projects in inter-Korean border areas by 2030 to foster them as an ecological and peace belt center on the Korean Peninsula. 5.4 trillion won (US$4.8 billion) will come from the central government, 2.2 trillion won (US$2 billion) from local governments and 5.6 trillion (US$5 billion) from the private sector.

About 3 trillion won (US$2.7 billion) will be spent on 108 projects to stimulate ecological peace tourism, including the creation of a walking route near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the construction of gondola and observatory at the Punch Bowl Village, a highland basin in Yanggu, Gangwon Province.

To expand social infrastructure and improve settlement conditions, about 1.7 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) will be spent on 42 projects. The ministry said about 3.4 trillion won (US$3 billion) will be allotted to 54 projects, including the creation of industrial complexes, to develop the border areas in a balanced way. 

About 5.1 trillion won (US$4.5 billion) will be allocated for 21 projects on establishing foundation for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation, including the construction of a two-lane road between Incheon’s Yeongjong Island and Shin Island. 

Priority will be given to projects that have a great ripple effect on the local economy and that are able to achieve visible results. Projects funded from private players and those aimed to promote inter-Korean exchange and cooperation will be carried out in the mid- to long-term considering the inter-Korean relations and private investment.

#investment #border area #South Korea #inter-Korean relations #regional development 
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