Interview with Seong-Tae Hwang, (Commissioner) Yellow Sea Free Economic Zone Authority (YESFEZ)
by BVL Chapter Korea - Seoul
Kook: Congratulations on YESFEZ’s – The Yellow Sea Free Economic Zone Authority’s –foundation anniversary. It has been five months since you became YESFEZ Commissioner back in January earlier this year. What is your impression so far on the achievements and progress YESFEZ’s projects?
Hwang: Thank you. YESFEZ, which belongs to the local Gyeonggi government, has developed to build a business and industry complex in Pyeongtaek with an 800 million US Dollars' project budget since 2008. We will phase in the land sales later this year, setting goals to reach of 100 million US Dollars through MOUs (Memorandum of Understandings) and through various International Relations.
Kook: You are well known for being a field-oriented administrator, attracting overseas global players to YESFEZ by focusing on IR (International Relations). Could you elaborate as to how you do this exactly?
Hwang: YESFEZ welcomes leading companies into the smart future car industry, as well as hidden champions in the high-tech sector, and foreign companies who are on the lookout for mutual Korea-China FTA benefits. Pyeongtaek’s international port, which currently ranks as the number one automotive import/export volume in Korea, has easy access to a metropolitan area in which 50% of the overall Korean population lives. Furthermore, national global players such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai-Kia Motors, and SK Hynix are located nearby. Pyeongtaek BIX (Business and Industry Complex) has an area of 204 hectares for chemistry, automotive, machinery, electronics, and Hyundeok district with an area of 232 hectares for foreign settlements, tourism, distribution, and commercials, making it an ideal location for a YESFEZ hub.
For an added-value logistics industry solution, YESFEZ supports a simplified import declaration system for sea cargo express since Pyeongtaek Customs opened in May 2019. This allows us to attract cold chain companies, and at the same time empowers automotive import/export transport logistics. At the same time YESFEZ is able to provide land at a competitive price: 421 US Dollars per m² for manufacturing companies (30% lower than neighbouring sites) and 434 US Dollars per m² for logistics.
Kook: YESFEZ attended the 4th Korean-German Logistics Conference this year. What do you hope German companies learn about YESFEZ?
Hwang: By offering a high-tech growing industry platform, we put our efforts into meeting companies’ needs, especially those form 4th industrial revolution related sectors, by creating a business-friendly environment for future car parts, cold chain, and e-commerce. Above all, YESFEZ sets out to become a business hub of Korea with easy access to China and an Asian partner for German companies. I look forward to German companies interested in investing in Korea paying a visit to YESFEZ in Pyeongtaek.
Seong-Tae Hwang was speaking to BVL Chapter Korea – Seoul Chairperson, Won-Gyung Kook, during the 4th Korean-German Logistics Conference on 13th June, at the COEX Center in Seoul.