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Uruma City dangles hefty incentives for new project

Date Posted: 2008-06-20

A new special free trade zone in Uruma City is slated to open within two years, and city officials are offering special incentives to attract businesses to the 89.4 hectares project.

The new Nakagusuku Bay port district, which encompasses the free trade zone, and its IT Promotion Park already under construction, will begin approving companies for entry to the zone next year. Addition of the new East Coast Wharf in 2010, which will accommodate ocean-going freighters bringing goods from international companies, will boost employment by more than 8,000 workers. Uruma City currently has a 14% unemployment rate, and that concerns Koushun Kina, the city’s Commercial and Industrial Section chief.

“It will be a good chance to improve the economics situation for both Uruma City and Okinawa Prefecture as we promote this area,” he says. “It will make land costs go down,” Once finished, the new port will accommodate 5,000-ton cargo or passenger ships in the new port.

Uruma City is offering special incentives, including exemption from corporate taxes, to entice companies to migrate to the new special free trade zone. It has set up a special council to lead the promotion effort. The council will establish priorities for the new port area, determining which are the best companies to invite to move into the new area. It promises to seek advice from both the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Education.

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