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[TV Interview - DBiK Seminar 2024] Developing S. Korea as regional hub for multinational companies: …


Developing S. Korea as regional hub for multinational companies: AMCHAM’s 'Doing Business in Korea'



By Moon Hye-ryeon, Arirang News - Economic relations between South Korea and the United States continue to grow, while various factors are affecting Korea as an attractive business destination.


These were some of the topics that were brought up as CEOs and government officials gathered today in Seoul to talk about American firms doing business in Korea.


Our Moon Hye-ryeon files this report.


The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea opened its annual "AMCHAM Doing Business in Korea" seminar on Tuesday with company heads and government officials to discuss policy directions to make the country more attractive for American firms.


The U.S. Ambassador to South Korea spoke of how the U.S. has become South Korea's largest investor, and how American firms are "betting on the Korean market" due to its prominence on the global stage in terms of industry and cultural content.


"Korea is leading the global moment as a global cultural and economic powerhouse. As a result, Korea is at a moment of opportunity to position itself to attract more international businesses."


According to a survey conducted by AMCHAM, South Korea was ranked as the second most preferred destination for regional business headquarters in Asia after Singapore for three years straight.


"New York Times is a good example. They moved its regional headquarters from Hong Kong to Korea, and why did they move here? Great freedom of press, the digital infrastructure is outstanding. And third, look at the people that you have here in South Korea – hard-working, educated people who can execute."


But there's still a long way to go before the country can firmly establish itself as a regional headquarters hub.


"Singapore has five thousand regional headquarters, Hong Kong has fourteen hundred. Believe it or not, Korea has less than one hundred. Now is the perfect time for Korea to really win some of those regional headquarters into Korea."


In order to achieve such a goal, there are four key policy areas that Seoul needs to develop.


"One is labor flexibility. The other is predictability on tax, and a topic that always comes up is CEO risk and liabilities, and the digital economy and regulations."


The Yoon administration has already begun to address some of these concerns such as tax predictability --extending flat income tax rates for foreign workers.


But with the digital economy increasingly accounting for larger portions of the country's GDP and demand surging for more talent in new up-and-coming sectors such as AI, the government aims to foster growth in research and development between foreign and domestic groups.


"This year, we established an R&D business exclusively for foreign companies so that global companies can promote technological innovation in Korea."


With the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy working with AMCHAM to further advance the country as an attractive business destination and spearhead the program to advance South Korea as a regional business hub, there could be more developments in store.


Source: https://www.arirang.com/news/view?id=269747&lang=en