South Korea's trade minister vowed full support Monday for foreign investors that will include efforts to remove unnecessary regulations.
In a Seoul meeting with top officials from some 20 foreign firms here, Yoon Sang-jick said the government will push for law revisions aimed at providing additional incentives to foreign investors who meet certain conditions, such as hiring a set number of local workers, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) freshly pledged to South Korea surged 30.6 percent on-year to US$19 billion last year, and the government hopes to boost the amount to a record high of $20 billion this year, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency.
To achieve the goal, the government will eliminate difficulties facing foreign investors and firms, such as limiting the number of foreign workers to 20 percent of the workforce for a foreign company, the minister said.
Yoon emphasized that South Korea will become more attractive to foreign investors as it is set to sign a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
"With the Korea-China FTA, South Korea will have a differentiated attractiveness as foreign investors will be able to work out of the country to tackle the global market, including China," the minister said at the meeting, according to the ministry.
South Korea and China concluded FTA negotiations late last year and are expected to initial the bilateral trade pact soon.
Once the Korea-China FTA is implemented, South Korea's trade territory, represented by the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of countries with which the country has a free trade pact, will reach 73 percent of global GDP.