Korea's FTAs top appeal for foreign investors: poll

Overseas investors believe South Korea’s global trading network established by free trade agreements makes the country an attractive investment destination, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to the survey conducted by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, 18 percent of foreign investors said the country’s vast free-trade network makes the market favorable over other destinations in Asia.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 13-15 on 111 foreign investors during Foreign Investment Week 2015, hosted by KOTRA.

South Korea has clinched FTAs with major economies including the United States and the European Union, and is currently awaiting parliamentary ratification of its deal with China.

Another 17 percent cited the incentives and other policy measures by the government, while 14 percent praised South Korea’s quality labor sources.

When asked about hurdles related to making investment in South Korea, 26 percent cited the country’s small domestic market with a population of around 50 million.

The risks surrounding North Korea and the inconsistency in the governmental policies also were cited by 13 percent each, while 12 percent singled out the tension between labor unions and management.

China was cited as the top rival of South Korea in Asia at 30 percent, trailed by Japan, Singapore and Taiwan at 23 percent, 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Overseas investors said China and Japan holds competitiveness over South Korea for their large domestic consumption.

Respondents suggested the South Korean government should establish a one-stop system to provide support related to investment, and also bolster tax incentives or cash support.

A whopping 46 percent of the respondents said they wish to establish a joint venture in South Korea as their means of investment, while 21 percent said they plan to seek equity investment, according to the survey. (Yonhap)


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