As a port located in the west coast region of Korea, Dangjin City has been achieving robust growth in economy and population for years. As of the end of 2015, its population increased to over 170,000 persons and the finance exceeded 700 billion won (approx. US$583 million). In 2015, the City attracted industrial investments of 1.94 trillion won (approx. US$1.616 billion), Waegok was selected to be developed as a marina port, and the Gijisi Tug-of-War game was listed as UNESCO’s intangible heritage. It also received top awards in 30 segments including productivity and job creation in competition with other local autonomous governments in Korea.
With an ideal environment for agriculture, industry and maritime trade, and capitalizing on these achievements, the City is rapidly developing into the hub of Korea-China trade in the Pan Yellow Sea region. In 2016, the City government said it will foster new growth engines that will drive its economic growth on long term basis. Among others, it will put focus on building greenhouse horticulture complexes using hot waste water discharged by thermal power plants, promoting marine tourism industry in connection with the marina port, and attracting more investments from China as well as on diversifying industries getting rid of steel cluster-lopsided structure and strengthening competitiveness in bio-industry. With the goal of establishing a city with sustainable and robust development and comfortable life of citizens, it will also develop traditional markets, expand support for small and medium-sized business firms, create quality jobs, and provide customized welfare to socially underprivileged citizens.
To enhance the happiness level of citizens, the City authority will enhance welfare of people by increasing jobs for disabled people, expanding love-sharing culture, and invigorating self-support programs. In order to build a city where youths, children and women are happy, it will implement free learning semester system and various experience programs, while establishing a society where women can work to the full extent and expanding infrastructure for nursing children. It will also improve health of citizens by expanding healthcare facilities, reinforcing capability of controlling new infectious diseases, and by setting up emergency medical care environment.
In a recent press conference, Mayor Kim Hong-jang of Dangjin City announced six major policies for this year, focused on strengthening competitiveness. Mayor Kim said the City government will foster new growth engines, promote traditional markets and small businesses, build happy and warm society, promote humanity-based development and settlement conditions for healthy life, expand chances of participation and communication for citizens, and build atmosphere where credible public officials serve faithfully and reliably.
For fostering new growth engines, the City authority will build agro-fishery industrial complexes using hot waste water discharged by thermal power plants, and increase added value of agricultural products by innovating agriculture systems. Also, it will promote marine tourism industry in connection with Jango Fishery Port and Marina Port. The City government plans to strengthen competitiveness of Dangjin Port by constructing a road between Sinpyeong and Naehang Port and invigorating operation of its support center, while making effort to attract more investments from China by holding large scale briefing sessions and trade fairs in China.
In the press conference, Mayor Kim stressed that the municipal government will transform a part of traditional markets into specialized markets, such as night markets and weekend market places. It will also invigorate the regional economy by systematically promoting social enterprises and village enterprises as well as adopting the minimum wage system for workers. In addition, the City authority will increase jobs for elderly citizens and disabled people, while expanding chances of participation by and communication with citizens for city policies by augmenting capacity of residents’ autonomy councils and citizen audit system for policy discussions. Mayor Kim Hong-jang noted, “I will concentrate efforts on promoting sustainable growth of the City to establish a balanced society rather than hastening to achieve short-term growth in appearance and outcomes. I will take the lead in improving quality of citizens’ life and realizing reliable administration.”
Meanwhile, the Committee on Building Gijisi Culture Village held an event of watching first sunrise on the New Year’s Day at the peak of Mt. Guksubong in Gijisi-ri Village, celebrating listing of the Gijisi tug-of-war game as UNESCO’s intangible heritage. Aiming to publicize the Gijisi tug-of-war game and boost regional economy, the City authority began in 2015 to build Gijisi-ri as the Gijisi tug-of-war game-based culture village.