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[DBiK Seminar 2022] Stronger partnership with US needed to help Korea become business hub in Asia: A…

Stronger partnership with US needed to help Korea become business hub in Asia: AMCHAM By Kim Hyun-bin, The Korea Times - The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM Korea) hosted the fourth AMCHAM Doing Business in Korea Seminar under the theme, "Korea at the Crossroads: Key Innovation Agenda for the New Korean Government," which featured presentations and panel discussions focusing on suggestions the incoming administration should examine in order to establish Korea as a regional business hub at the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, Thursday.   "Today's seminar presents all of us with a tremendous opportunity to envision Korea's next leap forward as a major innovation hub. We will discuss how to take the U.S.-Korea economic partnership to the next level by making Korea not just a great place to invest in, but the number one destination for U.S. companies' investment in the East Asia region." AMCHAM Chairman James Kim said in his opening remarks. "I am certain that today's seminar will mark an important milestone in the cooperation between Korea and global companies for stronger and more vibrant economic partnerships."   With the presence of Foreign Minister Nominee Rep. Park Jin of People Power Party, the event also included congratulatory remarks by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Charge d'Affaires ad interim Christopher Del Corso from the U.S. Embassy Seoul, and Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae.   The first part of the event featured a conversation with International President Stephen Dunbar-Johnson of The New York Times Company (NYT), who provided some insight into the relocation of NYT's Asian digital hub from Hong Kong to Seoul last May.   "When choosing a destination, we looked at factors like the independence of the press, visas, schooling for our employees, ease of travel, and business conditions in the market. Seoul came out on top," Johnson said.   Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae emphasized the importance of the U.S. market to help relieve supply chain issues and enhance economic relationships between the two countries.   "Prior to the COVID pandemic, Korean Air flew more than 2.9 million passengers annually to the US, and after the onslaught of the pandemic we have helped relieve the supply chain issues by increasing our cargo capacity to the U.S. by more than 900,000 tons in 2021," Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae said. "We are committed to increasing our activity in the U.S., given the positive environment, and we will continue to be a major contributor to the U.S.-Korea economic relationship."   The highlight of the seminar was the fireside chat on the topic of "Policy Proposals for the Next Government." Led by AMCHAM Chairman & CEO James Kim, the discussion included speakers from diverse industries.   During the fireside chat, AMCHAM Chairman Kim shared the findings of the "2022 AMCHAM Business Environment Survey," as Korea was selected as the second-most preferred destination for regional business headquarters in Asia, after Singapore.   Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2022/04/419_327742.html?na 

2022.04.22

[News Article] US firms willing to invest more in Korea: AMCHAM survey

US firms willing to invest more in Korea: AMCHAM surveyBy Kim So-hyun, The Korea Herald - A majority of American businesses in South Korea were optimistic that investment here will continue over the next two years and picked Korea as the second most preferred location for regional headquarters in Asia after Singapore, survey results showed on Thursday.  In an annual survey of member companies by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, 44 percent of the respondents said they will increase investment in Korea through 2024, while another 42.9 percent said there will be no change to their investment levels. Six percent said their investment will decrease in the next two years, and 7.1 percent said their investment outlook was unclear.   More than 80 companies responded to the survey between Feb. 24 and March 25, which was designed to gather opinions on the business environment here ahead of the inauguration of the new government and provide insight to make Korea a more attractive investment destination, AmCham Korea said.   As for the current business environment in Korea, 29.8 percent said it was good; 47.6 percent said it was average; and 21.4 percent said it was below average. When asked about key areas for improvement, for which respondents could choose multiple answers, nearly four out of five (78.6 percent) respondents picked Korea’s unique regulations, followed by CEO risks (42.9 percent), rigid labor laws (42.9 percent), high tax rates (25 percent) and others (16.7 percent).   As for the biggest difficulty for businesses in Korea, to which respondents could also choose two or more answers, labor policy (67.9 percent) topped the list, followed by tax policy (56 percent) and CEO liability (46.4 percent). Only 15.5 percent chose immigration policy and 13.1 percent chose education policy such as foreign schools as difficulties.   Slightly over half (51.2 percent) of the respondents said government policies had a negative impact on their business operations last year, while another 40.5 percent said the impact was neutral. Only 3.6 percent said they had a positive impact. Almost four out of five respondents expected to see moderate to significant change under the incoming government.   Two out of five companies said they did not meet their growth targets last year due to COVID-related supply chain problems, uncertain economic conditions and other relevant issues that hindered sales.   “AmCham is confident that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol recognizes the value of creating a global investment environment to enhance South Korea’s competitiveness. We will work closely with his administration to make Korea the top business destination for global companies in Asia,“ AmCham chairman James Kim said.   AmCham plans to release later this month a Korea-US FTA implementation scorecard that examines the concerns and suggestions of the international business community in Korea in regard to the bilateral FTA.   Source: http://news.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220407000667&md=20220408003023_BL 

2022.04.11

[News Article] 국내 진출 美기업 절반은 "한국 비즈니스 환경은 보통 수준"

국내 진출 美기업 절반은 "한국 비즈니스 환경은 보통 수준"  중앙일보 천인성 기자 - 국내에서 사업을 운영하는 미국 기업의 절반은 한국의 비즈니스 환경을 보통 수준이라고 평가했다. 7일 주한미국상공회의소는 한국에서 사업을 하는 미국 기업 회원사 80여 곳을 대상으로 실시한 '2022년 비즈니스 환경 설문조사' 결과를 공개했다.      조사 결과에 따르면 설문에 응한 미국 기업의 47.6%는 국내 비즈니스 환경에 대해 '평균'이라는 평가했다. 이어 '좋다'(29.8%), '평균 이하'(21.4%), '나쁘다'(1.2%) 순으로 응답했다.  지난해 성장 목표의 달성 여부에 대해 응답 기업의 40.5%가 '달성했다', 21.4%가 '초과 달성했다'고 답했다. '달성하지 못했다'는 응답은 32.1%, '매우 미달했다'는 답변은 6%였다. 향후 한국 내 사업 전망을 묻자 절반 이상(52.4%)이 '긍정적'이라고 응답했다. 이어 '중립'(27.4%), '부정적'(20.2%) 등의 순으로 답했다. 조사 대상 기업들의 44.0%는 향후 한국 내 투자에 대해 확대될 것이라고 밝혔고, 이어 '변함없음'(42.9%), '불확실'(7.1%), '감소할 것' (6.0%) 등의 순으로 응답이 나왔다.      설문 결과 한국은 싱가포르에 이어 두 번째로 아시아 지역본부에 적합한 곳으로 꼽혔다. 가장 선호하지 않는 지역은 중국으로 조사됐다. 국내에서 사업하면서 겪는 어려움(복수응답)으로는 노동 정책(67.9%), 조세 정책(56.0%), 최고경영자(CEO)의 법적 책임(46.4%) 등이 주로 꼽혔다. 미국 기업들은 새 정부에 바라는 점으로 정치적·외교적 안정, 규제환경 개선, 조세 감면, 노동 정책 유연화 등을 들었다.      제임스 김 주한미국상공회의소 회장은 "윤석열 대통령 당선인은 한국 경쟁력 제고를 위한 글로벌 투자환경 조성의 필요성을 분명히 인식하고 있다고 확신한다"며 "차기 행정부와 긴밀히 협력해 한국이 아시아 제1의 지역본부로, 나아가 글로벌 기업 제1의 투자처로 자리매김할 수 있도록 노력할 것"이라고 말했다.      출처: www.joongang.co.kr/article/25061667#home 

2022.04.11

[한미 FTA 10주년 인터뷰] "IPEF 핵심은 공급망…韓美 기업 협력이 열쇠"

"IPEF 핵심은 공급망…韓美 기업 협력이 열쇠" 매일경제 이윤재 기자 - "인도·태평양 경제 프레임워크(IPEF)의 핵심 주제는 공급망이다. 한미 양국은 공급망과 관련해 긴밀히 협력 중이며, 기업(민간)은 공급망의 품목을 생산한다는 점도 중요하다."  제임스 김 주한미국상공회의소(암참) 회장과 앤드루 헤럽 주한 미국대사관 부대사(공관 차석)가 한미 자유무역협정(FTA) 체결 10주년을 맞아 지난 28일 서울 주한 미국대사관저 하비브하우스에서 매일경제와 인터뷰하며 이같이 말했다. IPEF는 미국이 지난해 10월 제안한 디지털, 공급망, 청정에너지 등 신통상 의제에 대한 역내 포괄적 경제 협력 구상으로, 사실상 '반중전선' 성격을 띠고 있다. 한미 양국 정부는 최근 'IPEF 민관 TF 회의'를 이어가고 있다.  이들은 "한미 FTA는 '철통(ironclad)'으로 묘사되는 군사동맹 이상으로 양국 경제 발전에 크게 기여했다"며 "한국의 새 정부에 가장 바라는 것도 양국 간 돈독한 경제 관계"라고 밝혔다. 헤럽 부대사는 양국의 공급망 협력 우수 사례로 반도체, 배터리, 바이오 등을 꼽았다. 그는 "램리서치, 삼성바이오로직스처럼 최근 해당 분야에서 양국 기업의 쌍방향 투자가 증가하고 있다"면서 "특히 한미가 협업해 생산하는 전기차 배터리를 매우 흥미롭게 보고 있으며 이는 상호 호혜적 파트너십이 더욱 기대되는 부문"이라고 설명했다.  최근 미국의 공급망 강화 정책에 따른 한국 기업의 우려에 관해 헤럽 부대사는 "미국이 한국과 경제 협력, 경제 안보를 논의할 땐 향후 한국이 어떤 형태로 발전하길 원하는지가 중요하다"고 설명했다. 그는 "특정 경쟁 상대에 초점을 맞춘 것이 아니라 각 나라의 번영이 목표"라며 "투명성, 부패와의 싸움, 기후변화 등에 대응할 수 있도록 검토하고 있다"고 강조했다.  기후변화 대응과 관련한 양국 기업 간 공조에도 주목했다. 헤럽 부대사는 "세계 정상에 오른 한국 기업들이 혁신과 도전의 정신으로 이 산을 넘을 것으로 보고 있다"며 "수소, 스마트그리드 등 에너지 분야에서 양국 기업은 공동 투자로 이미 좋은 위치를 선점하고 있다"고 평가했다.  한미 FTA 체결 10주년을 맞아 암참의 새 역할에도 관심이 쏠리고 있다. 암참은 최근 양국 통상과 관련해 개선이 필요한 분야를 모아 'KORUS FTA 이행 스코어 카드 2.0'을 발간했다. 제임스 김 회장은 "미국산 쇠고기 수입 제한, 화학제품 관련 중복 규제, 세계적 혁신 신약 약가 제도 등에 남아 있는 문제점을 짚었다"며 "한국만이 가진 독특한 규제와 그에 따른 우려를 담은 것"이라고 설명했다.  암참은 다음달 21일 '두잉 비즈니스 인 코리아(Doing Business in Korea·한국 시장 진출 세미나)'에 이어 '도어녹(Doorknock)'도 추진 중이다. 도어녹은 암참 대표단과 기업인이 워싱턴을 방문해 미국 정부 주요 인사들과 만나 경제 현안을 논의하는 행사다. 제임스 김 회장은 "암참의 주요 목표는 한국을 아시아 비즈니스 허브로 만드는 것으로 새 정부와 적극 소통해 나갈 것"이라며 "한국이 기업 운영과 관련된 규제·세제 부분을 글로벌 스탠더드(국제 기준)에 맞게 조정한다면 외국인 투자자들에게 더욱 매력적인 시장이 될 것"이라고 말했다.  그는 "외국계 기업들은 중대재해기업처벌법에 대한 우려가 크다"며 "새 정부와 대화를 통해 해결책을 찾을 수 있기를 바란다"고 밝혔다. 한미 FTA의 성과를 꼽아 달라는 질문에 헤럽 부대사는 '지속적 성장과 협력'을, 제임스 김 회장은 '양국 간 윈윈'을 꼽았다.  출처: www.mk.co.kr/news/business/view/2022/03/288167/

2022.04.01

[Herald Interview] US envoy says 10-year-old KORUS FTA is foundation for a new trade platform

[Herald Interview] US envoy says 10-year-old KORUS FTA is foundation for a new trade platformAMCHAM Korea chairman sees greater business opportunities from chip industry, stresses importance of securing supply chain together   By Hong Yoo, The Korea Herald - The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) will play a crucial role in taking bilateral trade ties to a new level through a new trade platform designed to tackle challenges stemming from a rapidly changing market environment, a senior US envoy in Seoul said. The KORUS FTA, which marked its 10th year this month, has been the most comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement in the region.  “The KORUS represents a turning point in the US-Korea relationship building from our initial security alliance, a rock-solid security alliance for over 70 years,” said Andrew Herrup, the US Embassy’s acting deputy chief of mission during a joint The Korea Herald interview with the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Korea.   He said that the Korea-US trade relationship is broader now, and moving toward trade investment. The two countries are now “looking to move even further to collaborate on building out a set of norms and values that we will share in the region and more broadly,” Herrup said.   Since the free trade agreement took effect in March 2012, the value of the US’ goods and services exports to Korea has grown by over 17 percent to nearly $70 billion, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Exports to the US from Korea surged 70.6 percent to $95.9 billion last year.   AMCHAM Chairman and CEO James Kim cited over a 600 percent increase in the number of US cars imported to South Korea as a key example of this growing trade relationship. He also noted the growing popularity of US-imported beef. “American beef is now the number one import here in South Korea,” he added.   As for South Korea, cars and auto parts accounted for the largest volume of its exports to the US, and has shown 75.5 percent growth from 11 years ago. US beef exports to Korea increased by 249 percent since 2011.   Amid the rapidly changing trade environment, the 10-year-old agreement now faces the need for a change to bolster mutual interests, they said. This could be done by forging a new set of partnerships on a new trade platform, the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.   “This (Biden-Harris) administration is looking at a worker-centered, worker-focused trade policy and building off KORUS, moving into IPEF. That’s where we will be heading for the next several years,” said Herrup.   IPEF, widely known as the US effort to bolster the US-Asia relationship to counter China’s growing economic influence in the region, however, has also raised concerns that it could be a risk for South Korea to choose sides between the two economic superpowers. Diffusing such worries, Herrup stressed that the IPEF is not targeted at a country, but rather aims to spread transparency, good governance and market systems in the region.   “We will be looking at a variety of things: trade, supply chains, anti-corruption and tax, cleaner energy and decarbonization of industry. Mixed in with all of these four pillars is the nature of economic security,” Herrup said.   On concerns over growing risks of supply disruptions, the US envoy said he sees the problem closely tied to the lingering impact of COVID-19, not the Ukraine war.   “The initial reason why it’s such a big issue right now is the pandemic. The pandemic caused disruptions in supply chains, and that wasn’t caused by the action of any one nation. So putting aside causes for wider supply chain disruptions, we need to make sure that our two countries, as well as our partners, have access to the critical minerals we need and the supplies that are needed for these critical supply chains that are the basis of our economies now,” said Herrup.   In the course of progressing bilateral ties, AMCHAM Chairman James Kim said he sees a lot of business opportunities from the semiconductor industry. That is why securing the supply chain of chips together has grown far more important, he said.   Noting that South Korean companies poured $64 billion worth of foreign direct investment in the US in 2020 alone, Kim said, “That shows you that Korea loves America. America is a great market for Korean companies, and that’s just one side from the other side around.”   “South Korea represents a huge base for things that require semiconductors, and three of our most important member companies using the semiconductor business -- Qualcomm, Applied Materials, and Lam Research -- are here in Korea. They want to make big investments in Korea because they realize they create a very important market,” he said. Lam Research, a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, is set to open its research and development center in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, on April 26.   As the country awaits the start of the incoming Yoon Suk-yeol administration in May, both AMCHAM and the US Embassy said they would continue to closely work with the new government to further economic bilateral cooperation.   Sharing about his previous meeting with the president-elect before the presidential election, Kim believes that Yoon will be a close friend to the US.   “We spoke about things like taxes, deregulation and really helping to make Korea a regional headquarters for multinational companies, which many US companies are already trying to do more of. So I look at him as someone who’s going to be very pro-business, very close to America,” said Kim.   Herrup arrived in Seoul in August last year following two years in Washington as deputy director for the Office of Southern African Affairs. Prior to that, from 2016 to 2019, he served as the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi.   Kim has led AMCHAM Korea since 2014, and previously served as CEO of GM Korea.    Source: http://news.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220330000691&md=20220331003020_BL   

2022.04.01

[ChosunIlbo ALC Webinar - SAPA] Foreign Businesses Seek Clarification of New Work-Accidents Law

Foreign Businesses Seek Clarification of New Work-Accidents LawBy Nina Pasquini, Chosun Ilbo - Foreign businesses here have asked for urgent clarification of a new accidents-at-work law that severely punishes employers if their staff are injured in the course of their duties.  The law, which came into effect on Jan. 27, is an attempt to respond to Korea's poor record of work safety and holds executives personally liable for workplace accidents, with penalties of up to W1 billion or one year in prison (US$1=W1,211). The legislation has been welcomed by labor advocates, but business owners worry that the badly drafted law could deter businesses from investing or establishing roots in Korea.   On March 30, the Chosun Ilbo's Asian Leadership Conference hosted a webinar about the law's prospects with James Kim, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea; David Park, an attorney at law firm Yoon & Yang; and Sean McLaughlin of consulting firm Cadmus Group.   The law replaces Korea's previous workplace safety law, which was widely agreed to be ineffective. But is the new law any better?   The new law "subjects companies and high-level personnel to stronger punishment and addresses legal loopholes that previously allowed top management to shift responsibility to hired third parties," Park admitted.   These included subcontractors, whose ubiquity in Korean industries is one of the reasons why the country's workplace accident rate is so high. Under the old law, the main contractor was often able to dodge responsibility and let the subcontractor take the fall. Activism was galvanized in 2018, when 24-year-old contract worker Kim Yong-kyun was crushed to death by machinery at a thermal power plant in Taean, South Chungcheong Province.   But experts worry about vagueness surrounding key terms in the new law, especially its ambiguous definition of terms that translate as "chief manager" or "responsible executive" and "required measures," according to a survey of 121 foreign firms in Korea by the Korea Enterprises Federation.   "There's been a lot of controversy due to the ambiguous definition of 'responsible executive,'" said Park. "The law is also still quite unclear at this stage as to what obligations companies must fulfill to avoid punishment." Some small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly concerned because a big fine could ruin them. Larger firms are better equipped to respond to the legislation, Park pointed out.   Kim also warned that the law may discourage foreign companies from sending CEOs or senior executives to Korea. "At AmCham, a top priority is to make Korea a regional headquarters in Asia -- to attract both foreign CEOs and Korean CEOs," Kim said. "But now we hear a lot of worries about becoming subject to the law."   The law differs significantly from American workplace protection, MacLaughlin pointed out, and these differences could lead to further confusion for foreign businesses. In the U.S., criminal charges against individual business owners rather than the company are "very, very rare," McLaughlin said, because they are largely a question of who can pay compensation.   The scope and scale of the Korean penalties are also larger than are those of equivalent American laws. Some businesses are hoping that the law will be revised to be more specific in its terminology and requirements, especially in light of president-elect Yoon Seok-youl's promise to be more business-friendly.   "I don't think there will be major revisions, because the law is still in its early days, but there is potential that the new administration could tweak the enforcement degree, to clarify gray areas and to make it more practical," Park said.   The three speakers agreed it is too early to judge the effectiveness of the law at preventing accidents. McLaughlin said he is hopeful that Korea can bring work-related accidents down. He noted that while the U.S. 50 years ago had similar workplace safety problems as Korea today, it has since made large strides.   "It will be interesting to see, as the law is implemented over a longer period of time, what sorts of impacts it has and what sort of takeaways other countries take from Korea's implementation of this law," he said. "The U.S. has seen a pretty dramatic reduction in workplace fatalities and injuries, but this has been a pretty stable decline over 40 to 50 years."   For many, the success of the law -- which punishes both accidents that occur during manufacturing and accidents that occur because of poorly-designed industrial projects -- is certainly important. This January, an apartment collapse in Gwangju killed six workers and injured another because the builder was cutting corners. In June last year, another building collapsed on the roadside during demolition in the same city, killing nine people and injuring several others.   McLaughlin said he is hopeful that the law in principle provides an opportunity for companies to prioritize workplace safety.   "These are fundamentally important actions that companies need to be thinking about in terms of workplace safety and health," he said. "So there is now an opportunity for these firms to put that front and center and show that they're taking it seriously."   ### “중대재해법이 글로벌 기업의 한국 진출 의지 꺾을까 우려”  ALC 웨비나 한미 전문가 전망   조선일보 장형태 기자 - 산업 현장에서 근로자가 사망하거나 부상을 입으면 최고경영자(CEO)에게 책임을 묻는 세계 최초의 법, 중대재해처벌법에 대한 미국 기업인들과 전문가의 생각은 어떨까. 이들은 30일 “세계 최초의 법인 만큼 앞으로 효과가 있을지 예의주시하고 있다”면서도 “포스트 코로나 시대에 한국에 아시아 거점을 마련하려는 글로벌 기업들의 의지를 꺾을 수 있다”고 우려를 나타내기도 했다.   미국의 재난 안전 컨설팅 전문 기관인 캐드머스 그룹의 숀 맥로린 국토 안보 담당 부문장, 제임스 김 주한미국상공회의소(AMCHAM·암참) 회장, 박다윗 법무법인 화우 변호사는 이날 ‘중대재해법 : 세계적 추세와 전망(Prospects of the Serious Accident Punishment Act Under the New ROK Government)’을 주제로 열린 조선일보 아시안리더십콘퍼런스(ALC) 웨비나에 화상으로 참여해 이같이 말했다. 연사들은 이날 오전 1시간 10분간 진행된 웨비나에서 중대 재해의 법적 개념과 재해로 인한 사망자 인정 범위 논란 등 법의 주요 쟁점에 대해 논의했다. 지난 1월 시행된 중대재해처벌법은 산업 현장에서 근로자가 사망하거나 부상을 입으면 경영 책임자를 1년 미만의 징역 혹은 10억원 이하 벌금에 처할 수 있도록 했다. 대한상공회의소·한국경영자총협회·중소기업중앙회 등 주요 경제 단체에서는 이 법이 기업 활동을 크게 위축시킬 수 있다며 우려를 나타내기도 했다. 주한 미국 기업을 대표하는 제임스 김 암참 회장은 “(이 법의) 선의에도 불구하고 재계에서는 많은 우려를 표하고 있다”고 했다. 이어 “코로나 이후 한국이 아시아 중심 국가로 성장할 가능성이 큰데, 한국으로 아시아 본부를 두려는 외국 기업들이 CEO 처벌 가능성을 염두에 두고 한국에 비중있는 지사를 두지 않을 가능성도 있다”고 했다.  박다윗 변호사는 “기업들이 선제적으로 대응하기에는 법안이 모호한 부분이 많다”고 말했다.맥로린 부문장은 한국의 하청 문화를 법 제정 원인으로 꼽으면서도 “미국 관점에서 봤을 때 한국의 중대재해처벌법은 굉장히 특별한 경우”라고 했다. 그는 “미국은 산업 현장에서 발생한 재해에 대해 개인에게 책임을 묻는 사례가 드물다”며 “개인 대신 회사를 상대로 벌금형 등 처벌을 하고 있다”고 말했다. 동일한 재해가 미국에서 발생했을 경우에는 사업주가 감옥에 가기 보다는 벌금형에 처해지고, 형사가 아닌 거액의 민사소송으로 이어질 가능성이 크다고도 덧붙였다. 사업주가 법 준수와 산업재해 예방을 위해 해야할 일에 대해서 박 변호사는 “현재 개정안과 시행령을 봤을 때, 안전과 관련된 전담팀과 관련 시스템을 마련해야 하고 혹시라도 중대 재해가 실제로 발생했을 때 기업은 법을 준수했다는 것을 입증할 준비를 해야한다”고 조언했다. 안전에 대한 선제적 조치를 해 두어야 처벌 수위와 민·형사 여부가 갈린다는 것이다. 맥로린 부문장은 “지금보다 더 넓은 범위에서 사전에 리스크가 무엇이 있을지 파악하고 체크하는 것이 중요하다”고 했다. 이들은 5월 10일 출범할 윤석열 정부가 중대재해법을 재논의할지 여부에도 촉각을 곤두세웠다. 윤 당선인은 지난해 12월 암참 간담회에 참석해 “한국에 투자하려는 외국기업과 국내기업 간 보이지 않은 차별을 없애고 불합리한 규제를 합리적으로 개선하는 데 최선을 다하겠다”고 말한 바 있다. 이날 웨비나에서 제임스 김 회장도 “(당시) 윤석열 당선자와 다양한 규정에 대해 심도있는 개혁안에 대해 이야기했다”고 했다. 박 변호사는 “시행 두 달이 된 법을 바로 고칠 것 같지는 않다”면서도 “점진적으로 새 정부가 시행령을 조금씩 고쳐가면서 현재 모호한 문제점들을 분명히해 실효성 있는 법으로 만들 것으로 전망된다”고 했다. 출처: https://bit.ly/3uJHFMb, https://bit.ly/3LuPagt 

2022.04.01

[News Article] KOTRA-AMCHAM holds first "Business+ Forum" to support expats working in S. Korea

KOTRA-AMCHAM holds first "Business+ Forum" to support expats working in S. Korea Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News - Under the theme "2022 Guidelines for Foreign Businesses in Korea" the first "Business-Plus Forum" kicked off on Thursday featuring sessions aimed at helping foreign companies, international organizations and embassies in Korea better understand the country's latest economic and industrial trends. "In Korea, there are a lot of foreigners and foreign companies. While they have more opportunities to understand Korean culture, they don't have that much of an opportunity to get accurate information about the country's economy or industry. That's why we decided to hold the forum to provide information about Korea's economy and help people broaden their networks between other foreign chambers." Thursday's event focused on sharing insights into South Korea's economy under the incoming Yoon Suk-yeol administration, its economic initiatives, challenges that may lie ahead as well as potential business opportunities. The Business-Plus Forum will now be held every month with different foreign chambers taking turns to co-host the forum. Taking the wheel in April will be the Norwegian chamber of commerce and the British chamber in May. "Next month's theme is going to be Korea's transition into renewable energy and what lays (ahead for) business opportunities there… and also how the Korean laws, rules, and regulations kind of support this transition." The forum follows an MOU signed between KOTRA and eighteen foreign chambers of commerce in Korea, promising to cooperate and hold business sessions for fellow expats in the country. "Going forward, KOTRA says it will continue to support foreign chambers of commerce, by not only providing them with such lectures, but also by connecting them with relevant South Korean ministries."  Source: http://www.arirang.com/News/News_View.asp?nSeq=295897​

2022.03.25

[Op-Ed] Upholding global standards needed to attract foreign investment

[AMCHAM to attend Roundtable] Upholding global standards needed to attract foreign investment By James Kim, The Korea Times - With the new Korean government in place amid rising geopolitical tensions, we are seeing a unique window of opportunity for Korea to emerge as a regional hub in Asia over the next two years.   At American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), we firmly believe Korea is well positioned to emerge as a regional business headquarters. We appreciate that the Korean government has recognized the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) inducement and shown that they value stakeholder input from the international business community. We are seeing more interest than ever from U.S. companies in investing in Korea across various industries. We already have seven boards of governors running Asia from Korea. The relocation of the New York Times Asia Headquarters from Hong Kong to Seoul is also a powerful testament to the attractiveness of Korea. It will become even more telling as more companies appoint heads of Asia to be stationed here in Korea.   AMCHAM had the opportunity to meet with then candidate Yoon Suk-yeol last December to discuss his vision for his presidency. Among his many goals, there were a few that are critical to American businesses in Korea. This includes supply chain issues that have plagued many of our businesses over the past several months. He also talked about increasing cooperation on strategic industries, such as biopharma, semiconductors and digital technology.   President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol also wants to revitalize the post-pandemic economy through regulatory reform, related to tax and labor. As Korea still ranks unfavorably in the region in terms of stringent regulations for business, this is essential for facilitating innovation and activity by foreign companies in Korea. Korea can increase its economic dynamism and become attractive to foreign investors by adjusting to meet global standards. Korea's corporate and individual tax regime could be made much more competitive compared to its peer countries in Asia. More flexibility could also be introduced to labor laws, and compliance costs could be reduced to make Korea an even more attractive place to invest and do business.   AMCHAM is committed to being a trusted resource to deepen the enduring bilateral partnership between the U.S. and Korea and to make Korea the best business destination for global companies in Asia. President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's leadership and dedication is vital to building momentum and securing Korea's position as regional headquarters. AMCHAM is aligned with President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on these initiatives, and we look forward to working closely with him and other foreign chambers to usher in the next phase of growth for Korea.   Source: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2022/03/419_325930.html 

2022.03.25