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South Korea To Attract Foreign Business With New Trade Zones

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

19 November 2003


The South Korean government is planning to merge the country’s ‘tax free zones’ and ‘free trade zones’ in order to create ‘international free trade zones’, intended to simplify the rules for foreign firms and attract more overseas investment.

At present, there are four free trade zones, in Masan, Iksan, Gusan and Daebal, which are only open to manufacturing businesses, whilst the four tax-free zones at Incheon International Airport, and the ports of Incheon, Gwangyang, and Busan are open only to logistics firms.

The new system, which is expected to be operational by next year, will allow firms from other sectors to invest in the eight districts and will give companies the same tax and customs breaks as are offered under the current regime.

The plan forms part of the government’s larger strategy, which is intended to boost levels of foreign investment and transform South Korea into the major business hub of the north-eastern Asia region.

Final proposals for the new international trade zones are to be released by the end of the year.


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