Official sees a big year for quality investment

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Official sees a big year for quality investment

Despite persistent adverse conditions in the global economy, Korea anticipates a record amount of high-quality foreign direct investment (FDI) this year as more and more foreign businesses want to build research and development (R&D) centers in the country.

Han Ki-won, commissioner of Invest Korea under the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, emphasized investment quality over quantity at a press conference yesterday in central Seoul.

“We focus on improving the quality of investments by foreign businesses rather than obsessing with numbers,” Han said. “What I mean by quality investments is to attract foreign businesses that establish R&D centers or move their Asian headquarters to Seoul and create jobs.

“Korea is ranked 35th among OECD countries in terms of net inflow of FDI, but the ranking changes as the GDP rises or falls. So the numbers don’t really matter.”

According to Han, foreign businesses have built only eight R&D centers in the past 12 years. But this year alone, five new R&D centers run by foreign companies opened here.

“These companies are choosing Korea not because of appealing incentives, but because of the country’s improving business environment,” he said.

Korea’s FDI amount reached a new high of $16.3 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Total FDI in 2013 is running about 10 percent ahead of last year, according to Chung Gwang-young, deputy commissioner of Invest Korea.



BY Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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