Additional Investments Make Up 50% of FDI

Foreign-Invested Companies 2011 brings together about 200 foreign businessmen

Some 200 executives and staff members from foreign-invested firms in Korea assembled for the CEO Forum for Foreign-Invested Companies 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton in Seoul on Dec. 1.
Among those present at the forum hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) were MKE Minister Hong Suk-woo; Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jae-wan; Jean Luc Valerio, chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea (EUCCK); Patrick Gaines, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM); Rob Edwards, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea (BCCK); and Tsutomu Awaya, chairman of SJC.
MKE Minister Hong said in an opening speech, "The ratification of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the ushering in of the $1 trillion trade era will make Korea a more dynamic and promising place for foreigners to invest." He selected the top four up-and-coming investment areas for foreign investors: parts and materials, bio-medical sector, green industry, and the entertainment field, including Hallyu- (Korean Wave) related contents, on-line and mobile games.
In a congratulatory speech, MOSF Minister Bahk touched on the corporate sector's roles amid the uncertainties of the global economy, the significance of attracting FDIs in a KORUS FTA era, and the direction of the Korean government's policies.
Lee Soo-won, commissioner of the Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), gave a lecture titled "The Importance of Intellectual Properties and Korea's Protection of Intellectual Properties."
As to a complaint from a foreign-invested firm executive about the applying of foreign-language patents, he said the Ministry of Government Legislation is now reviewing a bill to amend foreign-language patent applications, calling for advancing the date patent application to when English-language versions are filed before the submission of Korean-language patent application versions.
In a lecture, Peter Underwood, who has lived in Korea for more than 30 years as a descendant of the founder of Yonsei University, stressed foreign investors' understanding of Korean culture as the first step to make their investment here a success. He also cited the "can-do spirit" as Koreans' biggest strength.
Foreign Investment Ombudsman Ahn Choung-yong of KOTRA, said the Office of Investment Ombudsman's strategy for attracting FDIs is to encourage foreign-invested firms to make additional investments by faithfully tackling their complaints and offering after-investment support. He predicted that it is getting more important for his office to play a role in preventing investor-state disputes (ISD) following the implementation of the KORUS FTA.
Figures made available by the MKE showed that foreign-invested firms doing business here have made additional investments, taking up more than half majority of the aggregate FDIs: 57.6 percent in 2009 and 51.8 percent in 2010.
The forum, hosted by the MKE and organized by KOTRA, is being held every year to provide information on Korea's investment environment to foreign investors and to publicize the Korean government's policies. nw

Han Jin-hyun, assistant minister of the Office of International Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, gives a congratulatory speech at the CEO Forum for Foreign-Invested Companies at the Ritz-Carlton in Seoul on Dec. 1. CEOs of foreign-invested companies and other dignitaries present at the forum pose for a group photo. Photos on courtesy of MKE

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