Korea unveils plan to boost foreign investmentUpdated: 2014-01-10 AM 6:27:39 (KST)
The Korean government on Thursday unveiled a set of measures to draw more foreign direct investment to the nation, in a bid to spur economic growth by boosting production and creating jobs.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy's blueprint includes a relaxation of regulations on foreign investment and incentives to encourage global companies to set up their headquarters in Korea.
First, the government plans to ease and clarify foreign investment regulations.
Many economists have pointed out that one of the biggest obstacles to foreign investment to Korea is the maze of confusing regulations on overseas investors.
The government also plans to encourage global enterprises to establish regional headquarters and research and development centers in Korea.
For all foreign employees at the headquarters, the government will fix the income tax rate at 17 percent and extend their visa status to a maximum of five years.
The blueprint also includes a series of incentives for foreign investors, including quality of life improvements.
Finally, the government also plans to map out strategies to attract more foreign investment in the future.
Although Korea has seen the amount of foreign direct investment jump in recent years, the country is still far behind other global players.
In 2012, foreign direct investment in Korea came to 147 billion U.S. dollars, far below the U.S., which had 3.9 trillion dollars, and Britain at 1.3 trillion.
In addition, Korea's foreign direct investment in terms of GDP is the lowest in the OCED.
FDI accounted for just 12.7 percent of GDP in 2012.
That puts Korea second to last among the 34 OECD countries, and far below top-ranking countries such as Luxembourg, Ireland and Britain.
But with the newly announced plan, Korea is now aiming to become one of the world's top 10 investment destinations in the coming years.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.