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Seoul to develop Hallyu hub

Seoul will create a film and entertainment complex modeled after Hollywood by 2014 in its bid to promote the local entertainment business and tourism, city officials said Wednesday.

The city government will spend 170 billion won ($151 million) to expand Digital Media City in western Seoul to develop a cluster for the film, game and animation industries with a central emphasis on South Korean pop culture, known as hallyu, officials said.

“We will make DMC the best hub for Hallyu content, just like America’s Hollywood and England’s Sheffield,” Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon said. “[The project] will greatly contribute to realizing Seoul’s vision to emerge as one of the world’s top five cities.”

The construction plan includes building by 2013 the world’s largest computer graphics center with three virtual studios, city-themed movie sets, pre/post production facilities as well as promotional exhibition halls of famous Korean dramas that are big hits across Asia. A theme park featuring famous game and animation characters will be set up by 2012, officials said.

The Seoul government expects the DMC project to create 68,000 jobs and make 35 trillion won in annual sales revenue by 2015.

More than 270 companies in broadcasting, movies and animation, game and IT firms have moved to the complex since 2002 and other local major media and entertainment companies plan to move in from 2015, city officials said.

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