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S. Korea to facilitate cooperation by big cities for balanced regional development

17:06 October 14, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that the central government will step up a regional development strategy aimed at helping more big cities and provincial governments cooperate with each other to further promote balanced regional development.

Under the strategy, the southern port city of Busan, its neighboring city of Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province that surrounds the two big cities have pushed for building a so-called megaregion.

At a meeting with 17 heads of cities and provinces in the administrative capital of Sejong, Moon said the central government will provide financial and legal support for more big cities and provinces to build such megaregions.

For decades, South Korea has pushed for balanced regional development, but people have continued to move to Seoul and its neighboring areas.

President Moon Jae-in speaks at a meeting on balanced regional development in Sejong City on Oct. 14, 2021. (Yonhap)

As of 2019, more than half of the nation's population lived in Seoul and its surrounding cities, Moon said.

To promote megaregions, the central government will also provide tax incentives for companies to invest in such regions, Moon said.

Last month, lawmakers approved a bill to establish a regional branch of the National Assembly in Sejong, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul.

The legislation aims to decentralize the densely populated greater Seoul area and help heighten efficiency in parliament's collaboration with government ministries and agencies located in Sejong.

Moon hailed the legislation, saying it will have a positive impact for balanced regional development.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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