저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
APEC Investment Opportunities 2005 Seminar On the occasion of the APEC 2005 Investment Opportunities to be held over Nov. 15~17, 2005. The Korea IT Times had an interview with CEO Alan Timblick, Invest KOREA. --Ed.
Q: Korea IT Times: As Head of Invest KOREA, would you please elaborate on the APEC Investment Opportunities 2005 seminar that Invest KOREA is planning to hold in November
A: The annual APEC leaders' summit is an important event for the Asia-Pacific region, which is the largest and fastest growing economic grouping in the world. A number of events will be taking place on the sidelines of the Heads of State summit, and for business leaders the topic of investment in the growing businesses of the region is one of vital interest.
As well as giving global CEOs a chance to network in Busan, there will be opportunities for member countries to showcase their own particular and unique advantages and investment environment. In addition, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) will hold its very first Regional Conference at the same time. The OECD and UNCTAD will also be involved in running seminars and workshops.
Q: What is your opinion of Korea's overall investment environment
A: The best testament to the healthy investment environment is what foreign companies themselves tell us: that they are more productive and profitable in Korea than elsewhere in Asia and that Korea represents great growth opportunities in terms of a large and discerning market and the best quality manufacturing standards. In addition, by establishing Invest KOREA as the national IPA, the Korean government has signaled that attracting FDI(Foreigh Direct Investment) is an important priority and that it intends to look after the interests of foreign businesses.
However, we still see some residual xenophobia in the Korean press and among some politicians so we still have some work to do to persuade local opinion of the importance of FDI to the Korean economy, to improve Korea's competitiveness and globalization.
Q: How has your investment attraction performance been so far and what are the prospects for next year
A: We had a great year in 2004, with new notifications of investment intentions reaching almost US$13 billion, a 98 percent increase over the previous year. It is not easy to carry on that rate of growth, and indeed some of the 2004 projects were brought forward from 2005 because of some modifications in the tax regime. We may reach US$12 billion this year, which will be very respectable, especially if one looks at the two-year period as a whole. The kinds of projects are very varied, which is very healthy, ranging from the financial sector through Greenfield hightech manufacturing, to large infrastructure development.
For next year, we will have to work very hard to match current performance, given some slowdown in the movement of global capital flows.
Q: How will IK utilize APEC 2005 to maximize the impact on inward FDI
A: Apart from giving potential investors a chance to listen to expert briefings and presentations on the specific opportunities awaiting them in Korea, we are also helping to set up contacts between Korean companies and foreign CEOs, so that they can really get down to talking business.
Q: Why should investors choose Korea And what sectors should they invest in
A: We are concentrating on five broad sectors in our focused marketing campaign: the automotive parts industry; advanced technology, including semiconductors and display technology; biotechnology; logistics; and lastly, leisure and tourism. Korea's leading role in the first two is itself a major reason to invest. In BT we are leapfrogging many countries' existing advances. Logistics are vital to Korea's growing role as a Northeast Asian trading hub. And finally, tourism is strategically vital to the balanced development of our economy, reviving a depressed rural economy and sharing with our own citizens and visitors from other Asian nations the pleasures and luxuries of our beautiful landscape and coastline.
Q: What would you say are Korea's weaker or stronger points vis-a-vis China and India
A: For the quality of investment we are seeking, China and India are not really competitors. We are a far more advanced and global economy than either of them. Our internal information and communications infrastructure is well ahead, and we are a mature democracy with a stable political and institutional framework. Of course, we like to see China and India grow, since they are important markets for us and a suitable destination for Korean outward investment.