Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok on Wednesday reiterated the incumbent administration’s vision for giving foreign investors the confidence to invest in Korea.
“To echo President Park Geun-hye, the government will turn Korea into the world’s most investor-friendly market,” Hyun said in a meeting with major foreign companies and business lobby groups held at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul.
In particular, he predicted that the Korean market can offer more opportunities for foreign firms in terms of securing global business networks when compared to the bigger Asian economies such as China and Japan.
The top policymaker also presented Korea’s state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and its willingness to sign free trade agreements with the world’s top economies ― in both areas, Korea is ahead of China and Japan, he said ― as evidence that Korea is the more attractive place to invest in.
“Although the Korean market is smaller, and therefore comes with smaller domestic demand, the country will become the gateway for getting into other bigger markets based on the FTAs it has signed with countries like the United States and European Union,” Hyun said.
Among the participants were American Chamber of Commerce in Korea chairman James Kim, AmCham Korea president Amy Jackson, European Chamber of Commerce in Korea chairman Thilo Halter, Citibank Korea CEO Ha Yung-ku and Apple Korea senior
executive Chris Ahn.
The finance minister also pledged to raise the transparency in laws and systems, and also executive policies in a more stable manner.
Hyun added that the nation is ready to effectively weather the crisis posed by the U.S. tapering of its quantitative easing, promising that Korea would see an economic bounce-back this year.
“The Korean economy has recently been showing signs of recovery,” he said, citing the latest economic indicators including an accelerating pace of job creation.
He said the recovery pace will pick up this year. The government has so far maintained its 3.9 percent growth target for the year.
Hyun also said the government will improve the residential housing situation for foreigners, and provide them with better opportunities for education and welfare in a bid to attract small and medium enterprises from overseas.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)