Honduras Looks In Depth at Model Cities in Korea

The Honduran delegation has visited on of the Model Cities of Korea, where office buildings, apartment buildings, universities, schools and other enterprises were built to attract investors to Korea.

  • They met with the mayor and the city authorities of the Korean model. It was established in 2003. The development is planned to continue through 2020.
  • At this time there are nearly one thousand companies operating in six areas of this rapid development in Korea.
  • 40 years ago, Korea was at the same level of development as Honduras, but due to this type of model, it is among the world’s most developed.

The national delegation is in Korea to learn about the success Korea has had in creating a Model City. They had the opportunity to visit one of these centers of rapid growth, Songdo. The delegation saw first-hand the benefits already being generated for the Asian country in attracting foreign capital, creating jobs, and boosting the economy.

UPDATE: Current Honduras Model Cities or also known as Private Cities and REDs status and controversy discussions.

President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and the head of the National Congress, Juan Orlando Hernandez, lead the delegation, which is comprised of judges of the Supreme Court, businessmen, deputies, ministers and members of the Association of Municipalities. On their first day, they had meetings with government officials, investors, local authorities and development officials in Korea.

In Korea, there are six economic “free zones”, that over time have become real cities. Workers of these companies were attracted to live there, as the cities have their own established rules of etiquette.

Three of these zones were created in 2003, and three in 2008. 937 companies have already moved in, 138 of which are foreign. Among those companies are big names such as IBM, DHL and Boeing.

The delegation met with officials from these cities, who escorted them through Songdo, located in Incheon, which is one of the six free economic zones in Korea.

In Songdo live several thousand people who have their own police, their own schools, and their own authorities. They run their own infrastructure development plan for construction growth, that meets the needs of their community. The authorities are elected by a body composed of 11 Korean ministers and 9 international experts.

Seeing the growth and development plan, and how it has affected the economic growth of Korea over the past 30 years, the Honduran head of Congress remarked, “this is an example of what in some years may be an area of Honduras, a region with its own laws which allows foreign capital interested in coming, to generate employment, as well as incorporate technology into the country.”

President Lobo remarked that Honduras is open to receive support from authorities of these Korean cities to assist in the development of a working plan that would allow Honduras to soon be able to realize their goal.

“There is a plan of development until 2020. What we have is only the beginning of a long term expansion,” said Young Gil Song, Mayor of Incheon.

Incheon is home to 66 companies, and has generated thousands of jobs. Koreans across the country are moving to this city, and are attracted by the need for labor to first build the infrastructure, and also to work in companies that are already in operation.

“We are still beginning, our goal is to develop the whole plan of expansion of the city until 2020. It took us 10 years of planning, but we’ve had 8 years of development,” said Young Gil Song.

Also present at this meeting were Hong Sik Oh, head of the Urban Development Authority of Incheon, and Jong Cheol Lee, Commissioned Director of Incheon. They noted that an important aspect for the development of these cities is education, as foreign investors are not willing to settle into a model city if they cannot provide their children with the proper instruction.

Songdo schools have their own rules, and their own authorities who require up to 234 school days per year. They enjoy certain tax benefits, such as they do not pay tax to buy or rent the land where the school is housed. They also receive a reduction in the payment of rents, which encourages their installation and operation.

Currently 97 percent of the workforce in Incheon technology companies have college degrees, many obtained from the university of that city.

The Incheon mayor pledged to support Honduras in its plan based on their experience. Song displayed pleasure at the presence of representatives of the three branches of government, employers, civil society and mayors in the entourage because it shows that this project is supported by the entire country, and not just the government, which sends a positive message to the international community.

President Lobo remarked that “Honduras needs to jump, not step towards the development, in order to catch up to those who are ahead of us. This type of project is going to put Honduras at the forefront of an aggressive effort to attract foreign investment to the region.”

The President of the National Congress stressed that Honduras has the opportunity to become a regional leader in this endeavor, generating massive employment and reducing poverty.

One Response to "Honduras Looks In Depth at Model Cities in Korea"

  1. Poolshark  February 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I can’t wait to see this plan in action. Viva Honduras!

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