As the center of the aerospace industry in Korea, the Goheung County government recently unveiled ambitious programs for developing the regional economy, leveraging its natural, agricultural, marine and industrial resources. Until five years ago when the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) constructed the Naro Space Center in June 2009 and successfully launched the first space launch vehicle, ‘Naro’, in January 2013, the County was known as an agricultural and fishery region consisting of many islands, producing mainly citrons, pomegranates, garlic, onions, ark clams and sea mustard, not to mention quality rice.
In support of the central government’s policy of launching a moon exploration spacecraft by 2020, the County authority aims to develop its aerospace-related industries, including aerospace, renewable energy and commercial space tourism industry. As part of these programs, the municipal government will invest a total of 402.3 billion won (approximately $3.69 million) in this year in conjunction with the central government, KARI and other organizations. To expand infrastructure, such as the second stage expansion of facilities of the space center, a launch test pad, facilities for testing and evaluating flight, and a science rocket center, these organizations will invest 143.6 billion won (approximately $131.7 million).
And the County government will attract investments of 240 billion won (approximately $220.1 million) from private sector for projects of constructing a specialized industrial complex, a space land and green energy facilities. It will build a space theme park, install facilities for testing and evaluating aerospace components, antennas of earth station for moon exploration space ships, gravity-free experience facilities, and smart grids, using government funds. Also it will construct a science rocket center and space land.
With the goal of generating renewable energy-based electric power in capacity representing 50% of its total annual power demand of 400 million kWh, the County government plans to build solar photovoltaic power generation plants in capacity of 40mW by the first half of next year jointly with Kossen Co. It will also develop wind power generation farms in capacity of 40mW.
As the most ideal region for growing citrons and pomegranates, the County government designated certain parts of the region as special areas for producing and commercializing the well-being fruits in total space of over 246,000 square meters. Leveraging its comparative advantages in producing these fruits, the County authority will develop and commercialize these fruits as high value-added products, while expanding distribution channels. These fruits have been processed simply as teas and fruit juices thus far. To promote citron as a world-class agricultural product, it will ensure safety of citrons, establish foundation for developing new products and sanitary production, and reinforce joint marketing activities in overseas markets. In addition, it will develop high value-added health and functional foods as well as beauty products using pomegranates.
In order to develop eco-friendly citrons and pomegranates as new growth engines and to enhance their brand value, the County government will build specialized farming complexes and research institutions. It will also train manpower specializing in export, processing, distribution and marketing of products as well as expertise in intellectual property rights. At the same time, it will promote publicity and experience of these products through events such as festivals in connection with tourism. It plans to invest 29.4 billion won (approximately $26.97 million) in these programs, expecting to gain 51.86 billion won (approximately $47.57 million) in production inducement effect.
As an integral part of citron and pomegranate-based economy, the County authority began in 2012 to develop ecosystem forests in an area of 122 hectares to provide chances of learning ecosystems and spaces for recuperation. In 2014, it built a wood culture experience center and garden of indigenous plants in the forest in Mt. Mabok as tourist attractions. And it will construct the cultural center and a park for traditional grayish-blue powdered celadon by 2017 where tourists and youths can learn and experience grayish-blue powdered celadon culture.
“With a vision of turning Goheung County into the unique region that others cannot imitate, we have been building the mecca of aerospace testing and evaluation in connection with the Naro Space Center and foundation for differentiated tourism and recuperation while developing renewable energy facilities as a future growth engine,” said Governor Park Byeong-jong of the County. “We will expedite promotion of the aerospace and tourism industry by developing promising programs in 2015.”