BUSAN, South Korea - On March 12, Huzhou Fengtai, a Chinese company that makes stainless steel pipes, promised to invest $69 million in Busan City ($32 million of which would be in the form of foreign direct investment). The company is headquartered in Huzhou, in Zhejiang Province, and has eight local offices in China. Last year it reaped total sales of 280 billion won ($248 million). The company promised to construct a factory on a 33,000-square-meter site on the Gangseo District Hwajeon Foreign Investment Zone.
Busan City also signed an MOU with Geislinger, an Austrian dampers and couplings manufacturer, in January worth $10 million. The company plans to invest this sum in the Mieum Foreign Investment Zone and construct a factory on an 11,570-square-meter site there.
As more foreign companies invest in the city, it is rising as a special economic zone in Northeast Asia. The Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone that opened in March 2004 has attracted 58 foreign companies in eight years, attracting $1.31 billion of foreign investment. Last year, the zone achieved $234 million of foreign investment in its high-tech industries and port logistics field.
The reason that overseas companies are increasingly attracted to Mieum Foreign Investment Zone is because it has been designated as a foreign investment zone, a move boosted by aggressive marketing. This is supported by the redevelopment of the North Port, improved educational and medical facilities, better shopping for foreign residents, and a worldwide logistics network, all of which has had a strong synergy effect. The complex, which was designated a foreign investment zone last December, now offers foreign companies free land leases of up to 50 years if they do business there.
“In the future, we will continue to look for supporting systems so that more foreign investors can invest in Busan City. We will also work so that the city can become one of the representative special economic zones in Northeast Asia,” said a Busan City executive.