KOTRA recently came out with a report assessing which countries in Asia are most appealing to foreign investors. This is the first time that KOTRA has performed such a test. However, by the end of this assessment they had created a 225 page long document full of the results, information, questionnaires, and opinions of 261 separate foreign companies.
In the report, Singapore was ranked the best country in Asia to invest in, with Korea coming in 2nd, followed by Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
This report also includes a questionnaire from 261 foreign companies. Companies from the United States, Japan, Germany, France, and 17 other countries participated. Out of the 261 companies, 121 were from Oceania, 87 were from Europe, and 53 were from North America. Also, out of these 261 companies, 80, or 31%, have already invested in Korea while the other 181, 69%, have not.
This report examined 19 different categories of each country including market scale, industry location, and human resources. In each category, they were scored on a 10 point scale, 1 being the poorest, and 10 being excellent.
Singapore was first place with a total average of 6.98 points. Korea was 2nd with an average of 6.8 followed by Hong Kong at 6.54, China with 6.22, Taiwan at 6.21, and Malaysia at 6.14.
Korea's top score was in the category of "Mature Technology." It received a score of 8.03 points while Singapore came in 2nd in the category with a score of 7.81. Korea received 2nd place scores in the categories of market scale, human resource quality, abundant human resources, intellectual property protection, infrastructure, and investment incentives. Korea received 3rd place in the categories of location expenses, transparent government policies, and education. However, they received 4th and 5th place votes in standard taxes, wage expenses.
In the report, Singapore was ranked the most appealing country in Asia to invest in. While being assessed, they received 12 first place scores out of the 19 categories. Also, in Singapore, there are many situations in which English is used, making it more comfortable for foreigners. Another advantage for a foreign investor would be Singapore's location expenses and labor costs, which are less expensive than other countries. In addition to that, Singapore's labor times aren't as flexible compared to other countries, making it advantageous for investors.
KOTRA's President Jo Hwan Eek stated, "There were some strong points of Korea's assessment including mature technology, environment innovation, superior human resources, and high technology. We will continue to improve and build on that. However, we need to put our best efforts into the other categories that need improvement. With our efforts, we can improve these categories and make Korea the number one appealing country in Asia to invest in."