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NEW YORK CITY-A global marketing campaign was recently launched at the Manhattan headquarters of Gale International to reveal the Aug. 2009 opening of Songdo International Business District. The kickoff included details on accelerated commercial development in the $25-billion master-planned 1,500-acre Songdo International Business District, and revealed a memorandum of understanding between Gale International and Microsoft Learning, a product group of Microsoft Corp.

At the global marketing campaign, which was attended by more than 100 corporate executives, joint venture partners, real estate brokers, international investors, and dignitaries, Gale International explained that it will fund translation of Microsoft’s complete Digital Literacy curriculum into Korean and make it available to the full width of the Korean workforce for the first time, the company noted in a prepared statement. Microsoft joins an already extensive list of multinational corporations selected by Gale International to act as strategic partners for Songdo IBD including Morgan Stanley, United Technologies Corp., and Taubman Centers Inc., among others.

Specifically, the agreement outlines the integration of the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum and Microsoft IT Academy into the Songdo International School, Asia’s newest and most modern private preparatory school, where it will be available both in the school curriculum and in after-hours adult education for local citizens. The alliance extends to the Gale International U-Life Institute of Technology, which is focused on technology skills training for workers in a global economy.

The Songdo International School, slated to open Sept. 2009, will serve 2,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. U-Life, Songdo IBD’s computing division, will offer a wide array of life enhancing digital services to Songdo’s businesses and residents. Stanley Gale, chairman and managing partner of Gale International explains in a prepared release that the relationship with Microsoft indicates, “we expect to continue to attract the highest quality partners for Songdo. We welcome the opportunity to further deepen our strategic alliance with Microsoft.”

Jim Dilanni, director of academic programs with Microsoft Learning notes that “Microsoft Digital Literacy provides essential computing concepts and skills that enable students to use computer technology in everyday life to develop social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. We are so pleased that Gale International is taking the lead and funding the localization of the curriculum in Korean.”

As GlobeSt.com reported, New Songdo City will be the located of the upcoming World City Expo from Aug. 7 to Oct. 25, 2009. New Songdo, the Gale International/Posco Construction project set for completion in 2015, currently has some 30 IT tenants and 24 global logistics companies resident on its acreage. Songdo IBD is Korea’s new front door, according to Gale International. Songdo IBD overall will include 45 million sf of office space, 30 million sf of residential space, 10 million sf of retail, five million sf of hotel space and 10 million sf of public space.

John Hynes III, CEO and managing partner of Gale International says that “Songdo IBD is a hub location for corporations and institutions expanding into Asian markets, while providing the international lifestyle benefits and amenities of an exciting and environmentally sustainable new city.” Songdo IBD is the first new city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. This master-planned metropolis will be connected by a new 7.4 mile highway bridge to the Incheon International Airport and linked by subway to Seoul. It is estimated that when fully completed, Songdo IBD will be home to 65,000 people and that 300,000 will work there. Songdo IBD is located within the Incheon Free Economic Zone. In July, New Songdo City was included in a pilot program run by the US Green Building Council.

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