By Senior Feature Editor Kim Hyung-dae
"We will actively promote Jecheon in 2022 to establish itself as the best tourist city in the central region," Mayor Lee Sang-cheon of Jecheon City said on Jan. 25.
In a New Year interview with the Korea Post, Mayor Lee said, "We will link the regional tourism development project in the Uirim area, including Dream Farm Land on Jecheon Green Road, and the Uirimji Repair Park project to the Uirimji Complex Resort Private Capital Project.
"We will gather capabilities and wisdom with citizens to increase the competitiveness and brand value of our city, focusing on revitalizing the city center and staying tourism, and to take strategic measures to accelerate regional development through new growth engine projects."
The following are excerpts from the New Year interview with Mayor Lee Sang-cheon of Jecheon City by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.
Question: What did Jecheon City achieve over the past year?
Answer: We are pushing for the arts center and Semyung University win-win campus construction projects to revitalize the city center, the Chungbuk Autonomous Training Center relocation project, and the New Deal project for urban regeneration in station area, Seobu-dong, and Hwasan-dong.
The third industrial complex construction project has been carried out with the aim of completing it in April this year.
In addition, as a result of active investment attraction activities, we attracted about 1.63 trillion won in investment since the inauguration of the 7th popular election.
Q: Please tell us about Jecheon City's business policy and operation direction in 2022.
A: Our city's budget for this year is 1.006 trillion won. In particular, Jecheon City was selected for a total of 89 government public offering projects worth 204.4 billion, including last year's rural agreement public offering project.
We will not be satisfied with the investment attraction performance so far and carry out more active attraction activities to achieve 100% early sales of the 3rd industrial complex and lay the foundation for the creation of the 4th industrial complex.
We will continue to make efforts to create urban spaces by discovering the ongoing and new urban regeneration projects in the original city center.
Q: Would you introduce Jecheon City's investment attraction activities?
A: Attracting companies has great ripple effects such as job creation, influx of young and old population, and revitalization of the local economy, and is also a very important part of improving urban competitiveness.
Since the launch of the 7th popular election, it has achieved 1.63 trillion won in investment by attracting investment from more than 20 competitive small and medium-sized companies, including Coupang, Iljin Global, Inpack, HNS, and Enchem.
In addition, we are pushing for an investment review by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security in the second half of the year after creating a fourth industrial complex and conducting a feasibility study service to continue promoting the future strategic industry that Jecheon City is focusing on.
Q: Please explain your plan to become the best tourist city in the central region.
A: Our projects promoted to overcome passing tourist attractions and establish a foundation for vitality and stay-type tourist city are paying off.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Uirimji Reservoir and Cheongpung Lake Cable Car were first selected as one of the top 100 Korean tourist spots in 2021-2022.
The Eco Bridge, which opened this year, and the Oksunbong Suspension Bridge, which attracted about 300,000 people within two months of its opening, are establishing itself as a new tourist landmark in our city that connects the urban area and the southern area.
Q: What is Jecheon City's strategy for the 2022 cultural sector?
A: Along with the Cultural Foundation with expertise and creativity, we will lay the foundation for high-quality cultural and artistic enjoyment by supporting creative activities of local cultural and artistic organizations.
The 18th Jecheon International Music Film Festival, an unrivaled music film festival that embroiders the mid-summer with the harmony of movies, music and nature, is scheduled to be held in August.
The Winter Kingdom Jecheon Festival has been canceled due to COVID-19 for the second consecutive year, but the festival will be held in December with Jecheon's unique concept of winter cherry blossoms and ice to contribute to revitalizing the local economy.
Q: Would you introduce what efforts you are making to create an eco-friendly green city?
A: A city completes its dignity and values when people and nature coexist. We will continue to expand neighborhood parks and urban forests in the city center to transform them into nature-friendly and strive to respond to climate change and reduce greenhouse gases.
First, we will create an ecological city where nature and humans coexist by creating nature-friendly healing spaces in the city center such as Jecheon Regional Garden and Jangrak-dong Neighborhood Park.
With the aim of realizing 2050 carbon neutrality, we will promote preemptive strategic tasks such as greenhouse gas target management in the public sector and emission reduction policies by expanding the supply of eco-friendly vehicles such as electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles.