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February 25, 1999

SEOUL SETTING UP ASIAN “SILICON VALLEY”

By CBR Staff Writer

South Korea’s communications ministry has designated two areas in southern Seoul, Kangnam-ku and Socho-ku, as Seoul Software Town which is to be developed into the capital’s own Silicon Valley, a ministry spokesman said. The new hub for information technology and software start-ups will provide a wide range of services to fledgling information venture firms and internet-based projects in a bid to upgrade the level of the country’s information infrastructure, the spokesman said. The envisioned software town area, where a number of software developers are already active, will provide offices and state-of-the art computer facilities at a bargain price to those who plan to set foot in the IT field and software development, he said. A 33 billion won ($25 million) budget has been set aside to establish a Soft Tower inside an existing commercial complex, and the ministry is setting up a one-stop service system to allow companies to be set up within 24 hours. The ministry is also setting up a 50 billion-won fund to provide seed money in the form of collateral-free loans to small

firms.

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