June. 23. 2022
Foreign businessmen get a new perspective on Korea’s economic growth
|Moon Hwy-chang, professor emeritus of Seoul National University, gives a talk to attendees of the Business+ Forum at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Thursday. Courtesy of Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency|
By Park Jae Hyuk
Foreign businessmen in Korea learned the fundamental factors of Korea’s economic growth, sharing their views on the country’s strategies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), at a forum in Seoul hosted by the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Finnish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Korea on Thursday.
Under the theme “Doing Business in Korea”, about 50 representatives of foreign companies listened here to a lecture by Moon Hwy-chang, professor emeritus of Seoul National University, on “the mindset of companies and the Korean government”.
Instead of introducing Korea’s idiosyncratic business etiquette – such as exchanging business cards with both hands and bowing – the professor offered a deeper insight into Korean culture for foreign attendees to better understand the environment country trade.
He said he “challenged” the traditional approach that simply attributes Korea’s economic growth to cheaper labor, export promotion, chaebols, strong government and Confucianism, criticizing such an approach as being “too superficial”.
According to Moon, Korea has achieved economic growth through a productive workforce, efforts to learn global standards, cooperation between the public and private sectors, and a desire for a better life.
He added that Korea should prioritize providing better resources, market, efficiency and strategic assets to attract FDI. The professor underscored this because multinational companies tend to assess these business factors first before evaluating regulations and incentives when considering making direct investments in certain countries.
Lyu Jae-won, executive vice president of business investment data at KOTRA, said he hopes the forum will boost FDI in Korea by reducing the psychological distance between foreign businessmen and Korea.
“For foreign companies in Korea to achieve innovative results with business-friendly policies, it would be absolutely essential to increase their fundamental understanding of Korea’s business culture and environment,” he said in his opening speech.