Korea to eliminate nearly a third of trade, investment regulations

By 정주원
  • Published : May 12, 2014 - 13:36
  • Updated : May 12, 2014 - 15:31

South Korea will remove nearly one third of government regulations on trade and foreign investment, and ease other restrictions that hamper investment, the government said Monday.

Of the 62 regulations that currently apply to trade or foreign investment, 19 or 30.6 percent will be completely eliminated before the incumbent Park Geun-hye administration's five-year term ends in February 2018, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The decision came at a public hearing chaired by Vice Trade Minister Kim Jae-hong on Sunday.

"The hearing sought to remove all outdated, unnecessary or excessive regulations as long as they did not affect public safety or hygiene," the ministry said in a press release.

The regulations to be removed include one that requires foreign investors to report any changes to the amount or nature of their investment.

The proposed changes would cut the number of procedures involved in foreign investment to three from the current five, Kim explained, but the effect of the reforms may not be seen immediately.

"Regulations in the trade and foreign investment sectors are already mostly in line with international norms and global standards. We are looking to find regulations that are outdated or place unnecessary burdens on foreign investors," the vice minister told reporters.

Such regulations also affect people and businesses in the exhibition industry, which currently require all newcomers to obtain an operation license from the ministry.

They, too, are subject to a complete removal as such businesses are regulated under different laws, Kim said.

In addition, the requirement of prior approval will be lifted for exporters of apples and pears to Taiwan.

"The ministry will continue to find and reform unnecessary and excessive regulations to help create more jobs by regularly holding public hearings," it said.

The ministry plans to hold weekly meetings on deregulation until mid-June. A meeting on energy-related regulations is scheduled for next weekend. (Yonhap)