Plans afoot for growth

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2006, 12:00am


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Kaesong, a city in North Korea near the demilitarised zone and about an hour from Seoul, is the centre of an industrial park project by Hyundai Asan, part of one of South Korea's largest chaebol.

In 2000, Hyundai Asan acquired exclusive business rights to construct and operate the industrial park, and the area was designated a special economic zone.

In mid-2003, Hyundai Asan broke ground on the first phase. The company said this covered 3.10 sq km and cost US$200 million, half coming from the South Korean government. Insiders claim the real sum is higher.

One year later, 15 South Korean companies moved into the complex and the first goods rolled off the production line.

Over the next six years, the complex will be expanded to include commercial, residential and tourism zones. Seoul's aim is to attract 2,000 factories and 350,000 employees.