2021 to be a year of improving public welfare and turning crises into opportunities
Direction of Gyeongsangbuk-do’s Administration in 2021 “2021 to be a year of improving public welfare and turning crises into opportunities”
While announcing Gyeongsangbuk-do’s administrative direction for the upcoming year, Governor Lee Cheol-Woo said he expects 2021 to be more pivotal than ever for the Province’s future.
Governor Lee identified “improving public welfare” and “preparing for Industry 4.0” as the key issues for Gyeongsangbuk-do’s administration in 2021, and said, “In order to push Gyeongsangbuk-do further along in this direction, my administration will restructure the Province’s systems comprehensively and extensively in a direction that breaks cleanly away from Gyeongsangbuk-do’s existing systems.”
Governor Lee added, “The 4th Industrial Revolution is an inevitable part of our future. We are at a crossroads where all of the paradigms we know are changing at breakneck speed. That means our existing administrative systems alone are ill-equipped to keep up with the changes we are facing. The only way we can survive is to leverage the researching capacity at our local universities in governing the Province.”
Thus, moving forward, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province will completely reorganize its administrative system into a “research-centered administrative system” in order to share and utilize the outstanding researching capabilities available at local universities, and drive policies forward with a “One Team” administrative system that facilitates the interactions/cooperation between local universities and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province as well as each city and county government in 2021.
Moreover, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province expects to conduct a comprehensive review of the functions at each of its affiliated research institutes and government-funded organizations based upon a perspective that is more in line with current demands, and overhaul its administrative system to a system with joint research and operational featured between universities with specialized researching capabilities in each field with relevant institutions. During the first half of next year, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to develop an optimized plan using pilot programs, then gradually add institutions eligible for its new programs moving forward.
Governor Lee also announced a new “Special Countermeasures Headquarters for Improving Public Welfare” directly supervised by the Governor’s office. This new administrative unit will focus on directing the Gyeongsangbuk-do’s resources in improving the welfare of residents across the entire Province.
He said, “In recent years, the field of administration has become much more complex and diversified than in the past. The number of vertically and horizontally integrated problems spanning multiple fields rather than one specific issue is on the rise as well. Our new Special Countermeasures Headquarters will help local universities, corporations, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, city/county administrations, and private sector entities respond organically and flexibly to changes we can expect.”
In particular, the Special Countermeasures Headquarters will function as a task force team that transcends conventional departmental and agency boundaries. It is expected to play an active role on the front lines of delivering better public welfare by surveying real needs pertaining to public welfare in the real world, collating honest feedback, and executing policies to address real-world needs.
Based on its key administrative direction, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to pursue stronger and more reinforced policies in each field.
[Direction of Gyeongsangbuk-do’s Administration in 2021]
① New regional airport! Executing a comprehensively developed strategy
② Administrative integration! Governing together with local residents
③ Going all-in to improve public welfare! Creating a vibrant and safe Gyeongsangbuk-do
④ Post-COVID-19 era! Attracting companies and creating jobs suited to Gyeongsangbuk-do
⑤ Industry 4.0! Developing Korea’s leading industries for the future
⑥ Children and young adults! Implementing specialized policies tailored to Gyeongsangbuk-do
⑦ New normal era! Promoting new tourism strategies across Gyeongsangbuk-do
⑧ Expand SOC! Laying the foundation for growth in each region
⑨ Innovation for agricultural and fisheries industries! Creating great agricultural and fishing villages to live in
⑩ New maritime age! Developing the region with industry, logistics, and tourism
① The first order of business for Gyeongsangbuk-do this year is to develop a comprehensive plan for the new regional airport for Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do.
Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, along with Daegu Metropolitan City, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, plans to create a new growth engine for the Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do region by investing KRW 9.27 trillion to build a new airport (land area: 15.3 km2) by 2028.
In particular, in the case of the commercial airport, the Gyeongsangbuk-do government asked the competent authorities to scale up the new airport to a size that suits the “6th Comprehensive Airport Development Plan” (2021~2025), and look to open flights to key destinations in line with the central government’s “4th National Railway Network Construction Plan” (2021~2030) and the “2nd Highway Construction Plan (2021~2025) to build an integrated traffic network equipped to become a key driving force behind Gyeongsangbuk-do’s growth moving forward.
Governor Lee’s administration also plans to establish a comprehensive plan for the development of a new airport city and related industries, and focus on support projects for the hinterland areas of the new airport to establish a new foundation for future development of the region with its new regional airport.
② In 2021, Gyeongsangbuk-do is poised to accelerate the pace of its administrative integration with Daegu based on the feedback it gathers from both Gyeongsangbuk-do and Daegu.
Both governments in Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do are debating optimized plans through a public committee to find ways to attract businesses and talented young individuals by leveraging better economies of scale. In doing so, Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do hope to help the region overcome issues associated with deteriorating rural communities and build the capacity of local industries as well as infrastructures up to par with the Seoul and Gyeonggi-do region.
Moreover, with a special legislation, the integrated regional government will bolster the power and financial integrity of the region by securing special approval appropriate to the size and status of a larger municipal government.
During the first half of 2021, the “Public Debating Committee” is expected to engage in extensive discussions and build consensus among the local residents. Based on the outcomes of its discussions and feedback from the public, the Committee will look to submit its recommendations, execute a public referendum, and progress through relevant processes.
③ Above all, however, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans on devoting most of its energy and resources to improving public welfare, and creating a vibrant and safe Province.
(Tentative name) Gyeongsangbuk-do will use its “Special Countermeasures Headquarters for Improving Public Welfare” to oversee the implementation of policies designed to improve public welfare, and introduce new changes in the overall regional economy in line with new normals (i.e. “untact” era).
In particular, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to revitalize the local economy by expanding the scale of funding for small business owners suffering from financial distress, and expanding the scale of its local gift certificates system to KRW 1 trillion.
It will also direct its attention to revitalizing traditional markets with initiatives, such as the “Special Environmental Improvement Program for Local Economies” and “Marketing Program for Rural Markets,” and promote the “Online Hope Market for Small Business Owners” initiative focused on offering online functions and a foundation for online sales channels as well as special sales to help businesses respond to changes under an untact environment created by COVID-19 and strengthen the competitiveness of local small business owners.
Furthermore, Gyeongsangbuk-do is expected to expand its residential infrastructure and social safety net by establishing a “Smart Early-warning System” for natural disasters, etc., and by creating “Safe Return Home Routes” for women and children. The Provincial Government will also prepare against the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic drawing out deeper than expected into 2021 by establishing a rapid testing system and preemptively securing hospital beds, which can help the Provincial Government create an environment where local residents can receive treatment with complete confidence in the system, by adding hospital beds under negatively pressurized environments, and by operating a clinic dedicated to respiratory conditions.
④ Gyeongsangbuk-do will execute strategies tailored to different corporations aimed at attracting investment and creating employment opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To that end, the Provincial Government will develop investment strategies customized to fit the industrial environments in the East Sea (secondary/rechargeable batteries, etc.) coastal region, western region (semiconductors, etc.), southern region (automotive components, etc.), and northern region (bio products, etc.), etc., and implement strategies designed to attract bio, food, and air logistics corporations to the region.
In addition, Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to promote win-win and customized job-creating strategies for each region, including Gumi (high-tech materials), Yeongju (bearing), and Pohang (battery), and further expand/establish organic partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups through unique regional sales festivals, corporate growth consulting programs, and SOS special marketing initiatives for exporting companies.
⑤ Gyeongsangbuk-do will proactively respond to changes brought on by Industry 4.0, and continue to make efforts to transform Gyeongsangbuk-do’s industries into leading future industries for Korea moving forward.
Gyeongsangbuk-do is ready to upgrade the competitiveness of its existing flagship industries through its “Technology Development Project for Revitalizing the Steel Industry” (KRW 135.4 billion), which passed a preliminary feasibility study in 2020, while developing new technologies/new industries for future automobiles, bio vaccines, and new drugs. Moreover, the Provincial Government plans to establish a solid foundation for innovative growth with follow-up projects for the Smart Green Logistics Zone, the existing secondary/rechargeable battery industry, and the Free Hemp Control District.
In particular, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to establish a foundation for growing the secondary/rechargeable battery, electrical component, and material industries, which are the three core components of future cars, and expand related R&D projects. In doing so, it hopes to reorganize the region’s flagship automobile and material industries, and equip them better for prospective changes in the future automobile industry.
Furthermore, Gyeongsangbuk-do is expected to focus on the “New Electronics Industry Promotion Project,” which was created to add artificial intelligence (AI) to the existing electronics industry base and further popularize the application of semiconductor technology, primarily through SMEs.
For northern Gyeongsangbuk-do, the Provincial Government will focus on bringing vaccine companies into the region, and promoting related industries using its vaccine industry infrastructure and human resource training systems, which it has developed over the past several years.
Not only that, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to gradually expand the industrial zones across its northern borders to play a more active part in the materials, parts, and equipment industries, in addition to existing bio industries, by creating an industrial complex for bearings and expanding the R&D base for machinery components.
Meanwhile, Gyeongsangbuk-do will also look to implement projects, such as the “Active Smart Living Care Industry” (KRW 500 billion) “Safe and Reliable High-performance Secondary/Rechargeable Battery Technology Development” (KRW 540.5 billion) projects, both of which are considered flagship projects under the “Gyeongsangbuk-do New Deal” developed in response to the central government’s “Korean New Deal.”
⑥ Gyeongsangbuk-do will focus on establishing an institutional foundation for current child and youth policies, and promote multi-faceted alternatives that take advantage of regional characteristics.
With the Province in need of an institutional support system for deteriorating local communities, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to direct its resources on promoting the enactment of the “Special Act on Support for Deteriorating Local Communities.”
In doing so, Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to provide institutional support by developing industries in deteriorating local communities, exempting deteriorating local communities from preliminary feasibility studies, installing special accounting systems for deteriorating local communities, and providing special support in the form of local subsidies.
Furthermore, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to promote policies aimed at encouraging childbirth (e.g. fertility center in northern Gyeongsangbuk-do, etc.), creating a better childcare environment (e.g. free meals for all grades and child allowances), and accelerating the development of a supportive child-rearing infrastructure (e.g. public childcare centers, etc.).
In addition, Gyeongsangbuk-do will look to attract young people and help them relocate and settle down across the Province with youth allowances (e.g. interview expense allowances, employment allowances, etc.), and give young adults a chance to pursue their dreams by sharing youth culture through the “Youth Power Plant” and by adding venues dedicated to young adults.
⑦ Given the dawn of an era driven by new normals, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to promote a new strategy for the Province’s tourism industry.
Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to develop a “Gyeongsangbuk-do Tourism O2O Strategy (Online to Offline)” to keep pace with the “untact” environment in the post-COVID-19 era, and establish a comprehensive strategy for seeing, staying, and selling tourism resources across Gyeongsangbuk-do.
To that end, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to: establish an integrated platform for its tourism industry; promote overnight tourism programs such as Temple Stay/Soul Stay programs and a Gyeongsangbuk-do Tourism e-commerce platform; establish the “2021 World Heritage Festival” as a brand; promote the registration of world heritage sites and resources (e.g. Samguk Yusa, Hahoe Byeolsingut Talnori, etc.) in the long run; and develop its regional “Jongga” (head family of a clan) culture into a high-quality brand.
Gyeongsangbuk-do is also expected to promote tourism projects that take advantage of its natural tourism resources, including mountains (National Forest and Leisure Sports Promotion Center), rivers (“Transformation of the Local Riverside Culture as Regional Tourism Resources” project), and the sea (National Marine Garden at the Homi Peninsula) to build a sustainable ecosystem for culture and tourism.
⑧ Gyeongsangbuk-do will continue to lay the groundwork for regional growth by expanding core SOCs across the Province.
Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to build three highway sections (81.3 km, KRW 581.5 billion), 11 railway sections (1,042.4 km, KRW 1.574 trillion), including the Donghae Jungbu Line (Pohang ~ Samcheok), and Jungbu Inland Line (Icheon ~ Mungyeong), and 19 national highway sections (207.34 km, KRW 286.3 billion). In addition to building these new sections, Gyeongsangbuk-do will continue to make efforts to confirm new key routes such as the Yeongil Bay highway, the Mungyeong-Gimcheon railway, and the Mungyeong-Andong railway as national projects.
As for the new town near the Provincial Government Complex, which is now well into its second phase, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to attract more people and facilitate development using a variety of initiatives designed to improve local residential infrastructures (e.g. upgraded culture and sporting facilities, etc.) and create new industrial complexes.
⑨ Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to provide more competitive support for agricultural and fishing villages across the Province.
In response to the food security crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gyeongsangbuk-do will strategically develop the insect industry, which is emerging as a source of protein in the future, and continue to upscale its “smart farm” projects across different fields.
Gyeongsangbuk-do also plans to breathe new life into rural areas, mountain villages, and fishing villages by building recreational and leisure facilities utilizing forest resources, and by developing an online retail platform for seafood products.
In particular, to keep up with changes driven by online/untact distribution mechanisms, Gyeongsangbuk-do will promote its “Saiso” platform, a shopping mall for agricultural products, and gradually expand its support for young entrepreneurs (e.g. young farmer support program, etc.) as well as programs to help people from other regions settle down in agricultural/rural communities across Gyeongsangbuk-do (Gyeongsangbuk-do’s regional settlement programs have been ranked no. 1 in the country for the past 16 years).
⑩ Gyeongsangbuk-do will focus on developing the industrial, logistics, and tourism functions along the East Sea coastal region in the new “maritime age.”
First, Gyeongsangbuk-do is expected to bring a drastic change in the local tourism industry with its new Ulleung Airport (2020~2025, KRW 663.3 billion), and develop Yeongil Bay Port as a hub for tourism and logistics using its new International Passenger Wharf (completed in October 2020), and by building a new International Passenger Terminal (expected to move forward in earnest in 2021).
Furthermore, Gyeongsangbuk-do will create future growth engines, including the “Electric Car Battery Recycling Cluster” (KRW 45 billion), and promote the new and renewable energy industry by creating the “Energy Industry Convergence Complex” (KRW 1.312 trillion).
Gyeongsangbuk-do will also look to establish the Province as a research base for nuclear power-related industries with its new “Innovative Nuclear Power Research Complex” (KRW 721 billion), the “Radioactive Waste Precision Analysis Center” (KRW 12.6 billion), and the “Nuclear Disaster Prevention Town” (KRW 32 billion), and proactively respond to changes in the new era of maritime tourism through its continued development of content and infrastructure (e.g. marina port, surfer’s beach, etc.).
Along with these efforts, Gyeongsangbuk-do plans to prepare meticulously for major events such as the “Korean National Sports Festival” and “World Punggi Ginseng Expo, Yeongju” next year to help it stimulate the local economy.
In addition, Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to introduce a new “Autonomous Police System” next year without any major setbacks to create an advanced self-governing police system for local residents suited to the more decentralized governing system in Korea.
Governor Lee Cheol-Woo said, “In today’s era, where the definition of everything we know is changing, change is inevitable. Although we are living through an unprecedented pandemic with no end in sight, Gyeongsangbuk-do will persevere with resilience and determination.”
He added, “Let’s leverage the capabilities and spirit of Gyeongsangbuk-do’s people, who have successfully turned numerous crises throughout history into opportunities, to take a bold leap into the heart of Korea as a country.”