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Incheon Sondo pushing to attract Chinese int'l school

All News 10:10 June 06, 2016

INCHEON, June 6 (Yonhap) -- Incheon's Songdo region is pushing to attract a Chinese international school as part of its ongoing effort to transform itself into a truly global hub for business, learning and research, local authorities said Monday.

According to the Incheon Free Economic Zone, (IFEZ), 71,700 square meters of Songdo city has been newly set aside for an international school.

It said various schools are eligible to invest in the region, although a Chinese educational institution wanting to expand overseas is more preferable for diversity purposes.

Songdo is already the home of the Chadwick International School that opened in 2010, and currently has over 1,000 students. There is another foreign educational institution in nearby Cheongna International City.

"Because Chadwick is an English-U.S. school, attracting a school with similar curriculum or educational philosophy could trigger excessive competition and not be conducive to growth for all sides," an IFEZ insider said. He said this is the reason that a Chinese international school is being sought.

Despite such goals, the free economic zone authority conceded that high initial investment cost, due to steep land prices in Songdo that could exceed 80 billion won (US$67.5 million) may be a stumbling block.

"Past talks have made limited headway because of high land prices so the matter needs to be discussed with the New Songdo International City Development that owns the property earmarked for the school," the economic zone official said.

IFEZ currently has plans for five international schools and designated related plots of land for their construction. The free economic zone is attractive because of its proximity to Seoul, South Korea's capital city, and Incheon International Airport. From the airport, most major cities in Northeast Asia can be reached within two hours.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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