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Korea grants permanent residency to seven European businessmen

Korea granted permanent residency to seven European entrepreneurs on Tuesday, acknowledging their contribution to the country’s economic growth.

The recipients have lived here for two to 13 years largely working for European investment firms and were recommended by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

The list includes Friedrich Stockinger, president of Trumpf Korea; Holger R. Doerre, managing director of Harting Korea; Thomas Geyer, representative director of Vector Korea Inc.; Patrick Mange, deputy chief executive of Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management; Philippe Reynieix, country head of BNP Paribas; Leo Akkila, president of Fibox Ltd. And Wolfgang Slawinski, chief executive of ATM Communication Inc. 
European investors pose with officials at the Ministry of Justice and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea after receiving Korean permanent residency Tuesday at the ministry in Seoul. From left: Jee Dong-hoon, the EUCCK deputy secretary general; Han Myung-kwan, deputy justice minister; Jean-Jacques Grauhar, the EUCCK secretary general; Wolfgang Slawinski, chief executive of Frequent-ATM Communication; Friedrich Stockinger, president of Trumpf Korea; Lee Kwi-nam, justice minister; Patrick Mange, deputy chief executive of BNP Paribas; Holger Doerre, managing director of Harting Korea Ltd.; Seok, Dong-hyeon, commissioner of immigration service at the ministry. (EUCCK)
European investors pose with officials at the Ministry of Justice and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea after receiving Korean permanent residency Tuesday at the ministry in Seoul. From left: Jee Dong-hoon, the EUCCK deputy secretary general; Han Myung-kwan, deputy justice minister; Jean-Jacques Grauhar, the EUCCK secretary general; Wolfgang Slawinski, chief executive of Frequent-ATM Communication; Friedrich Stockinger, president of Trumpf Korea; Lee Kwi-nam, justice minister; Patrick Mange, deputy chief executive of BNP Paribas; Holger Doerre, managing director of Harting Korea Ltd.; Seok, Dong-hyeon, commissioner of immigration service at the ministry. (EUCCK)

With permanent resident status, they will be able to stay in Korea without renewing their visas and be exempted from employment restrictions imposed on foreigners, according to the Ministry of Justice.

They will also be given the right to vote in municipal elections, it added.

The ministry said the decision was made to “broaden the range of understanding with foreign businessmen in Korea” and to “step up support for those who contribute to local economic development by facilitating their residence.”

“The ministry is making the best efforts to support Europeans’ residence in Korea and their business activities by collecting their opinions and reflecting them in the government policies,” Justice Minister Lee Kwi-nam said at a ceremony in Gwacheon.

The EUCCK Secretary General Jean-Jacques Grauhar praised the government’s decision, noting that the largest amount of foreign investment in Korea is made by Europeans, with the total amount nearing $60 billion since 1962. “EU companies have put considerable trust and confidence in Korea and demonstrated an outstanding long-term commitment,” Grauhar said at the event. “They are highly respected employers offering attractive job opportunities to many Koreans.”

Four of the seven awardees ― Slawinski, Stockinger, Mange and Doerre ― attended the ceremony.

They said it was an honor to be part of the “Korean family” and they will continue to promote Korea to other European investors.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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