Created in 2008, the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone Authority is a special government agency that offers customised facilities and space (manufacturing, R&D, logistics) for companies operating in the Korea and Asia-Pacific market. DGFEZ also provides financial incentives and relaxed government regulations for global companies.
The Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone has 10 sites located in the heart of 3 major manufacturing and R&D clusters (Automotive, Materials, IT/ Electronics). Companies are provided with the opportunity to work in a high-quality living and working environment while maximising synergies with knowledge-based services and manufacturing companies.
Aiming to provide the best one-stop service, DGFEZ has many programs designed to help its resident companies (and workers) adapt and succeed in Korea.
Over the past two years, Korea’s largest conglomerates have made sizable investments in Korea’s Daegu-Gyeongbuk region. The area, known for being the industrial birthplace of Korea (Samsung, Hyundai, POSCO), has been transforming itself to meet the demands of the new “knowledge-based economy”. In 2008, the Daegu Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone was created with that goal in mind, some 30 square kilometers of land was allocated to 10 sites with the mandate of increasing domestic and foreign investment. Four years later, the efforts of local IPAs have been paying off. Foreign multinationals such as Dassault Systemes (France), Daicel, Nakamura-Tome (Japan), Boeing (USA), and Cummins (USA) have all selected DGFEZ. Factor in investments from Korean conglomerates Hyundai IHL (Hyundai Motors), Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung (SMEC); and it is clear that DGFEZ is building something worth examining.
Access to Korea’s Largest Manufacturers
South Korea is considered a mid-sized country, in terms of domestic consumption. South Korea, however, is a global powerhouse when it comes to manufacturing and export. South Korea's exports totaled USD 559.6 billion in 2013, with over USD 217.4 billion (38.9%) amount of that coming from Daegu Gyeongbuk and the surrounding (100 km) region, where Korea’s three largest manufacturing clusters (transportation, IT/Mobile, and steel) operate. Samsung Electronics operates its mobile handset manufacturing factory (325 million units in 2011), while LG has a nearby LCD operation (Sales: 379 million USD). The automotive cluster found in and around Daegu Gyeongbuk is the largest Korea with Hyundai Motors, GM Korea, and Renault Samsung, as well as 11 of the world’s top 15 automotive components companies. To top it off, the world’s fourth largest steel company (POSCO) is also in Daegu Gyeongbuk and provides light weight metals to the cluster.
Excellent Human Resources
To complement industry, Daegu Gyeongbuk has many well-respected universities and colleges. The 51 universities and colleges supply 70,000 graduates annually (17,000 engineering graduates). In addition to a well-educated workforce, Daegu Gyeongbuk boasts low employee turnover (2.04%), and was awarded the President’s trophy for peaceful labor-management relations in 2008.
Special R&D Zone
Leading the way in industrial research (Nanotechnology, Materials, Automotive, Mobile), Daegu-Gyeongbuk offers superior and specialised R&D facilities that aid in development, commercialisation and technology transfer. The Pohang Accelerator Lab (at POSTECH) is the only one of its kind in Korea, greatly aiding companies in R&D. Maxx Planck is establishing a R&D facility that will increase the knowledge and capabilities of the region.
Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) is located on-site in DGFEZ
Transportation infrastructure is fully developed
Japanese manufacturer Nakamura Tome's factory (20,000 square meters) in DGFEZ