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Seoul City to offer employment subsidies to foreign-invested firms

Seoul City government will pay employment subsidies to foreign-invested firms that have contributed to creating jobs and revitalizing the local economy, city officials said.

The subsidies that amount to 1 billion won ($918,000) will go to companies in Seoul that have more than 30 percent of shares controlled by foreigners, hired more than 20 new employees last year and were registered here within the past five years, according to officials.

Newly hired employees of foreign firms are expected to receive 500,000 won ($460) for six months and training subsidies will also be provided to those who have received job training at local job training centers in Seoul.

According to city officials, the companies whose businesses are related to eight major business fields, which the city promotes as future economic driving forces, will be preferred in the selection of the companies.

The eight fields are business services, finance, tourism and conventions, IT, biomedical engineering, green businesses, digital content and design and fashion.

Introduced in 2005, the employment subsidies for foreign-invested firms have granted a total of 2.4 billion to about 32 companies, including Thyssenkrupp Elevator Korea which received 47 million won ($43,000) in 2010 for creating 22 new jobs and Merck which received 36 million won ($33,000) in 2009 for hiring 13 employees.

Companies that wish to receive the subsidies are required to submit application forms and related documents to Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Investment Promotion Division between Sept. 15 and 30. They can get more information at

“Foreign-invested firms are definitely becoming a driving force of Seoul’s economy as they tend to hire more people than local companies,” said Lee Won-mok, director of the city’s investment promotion division. “We expect the employment subsidies to play an important role, motivating more foreign firm to invest in Seoul and creating more jobs.”

By Lee Woo-young (