Business with Korea: Foreign Direct Investment & KORUS FTA


Business with Korea: Foreign Direct Investment & KORUS FTA



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Mr. Won Suk Yun joined KOTRA in 1986. During his long career at KOTRA, Mr. Yun successfully initiated and developed key international projects which were critical to Korea’s overall economic growth and key industry development. Recently, Mr. Yun’s main focus was to facilitate the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and the U.S. To achieve this goal, he has successfully arranged joint seminars with the U.S. Government and KOTRA’s Korean Business Development Center. Mr. Yun’s strong expertise in international business and in-depth knowledge in global-trade and investment affairs have helped KOTRA Los Angeles to play an important role in consulting, initiating, sustaining, and developing cross-border partnerships for businesses. One of Mr. Yun’s major global partnership activities is to support businesses connectivity by participating in and organizing major international trade/convention shows such as MAGIC, Global Textile Show, CES, CTIA, etc. Mr. Yun has successfully served as, Deputy Director of KOTRA Miami, U.S. (1991-1994); Head of Commercial Section (KOTRA) of Korean Embassy Nairobi, Kenya (1998-2001); Chief Trade Commissioner of KOTRA Vancouver, Canada (2003-2007); Head of KOTRA Busan, Republic of Korea (2008-2009). Mr. Yun holds an MBA from Seoul National University.

As the Director General and Chief Trade Commissioner at KOTRA, Mr. Won Sok Yun began by explaining the global GDP, the United States’ GDP, and the fact that Asia owns approximately 25% of the globe’s total money (especially Korea, Japan, and China). With Korea slowly beginning to grow in multiple industries and businesses, its economy is growing as well, and becoming extremely large for a small country. Mr. Yun discussed foreign direct investment as it pertains to Korea and how since 1997, the government decided to open almost 97% of the domestic market for foreign companies. He listed some of the deciding factors that companies have been drawn to when doing business with Korea, including its strategic location, scientific infrastructure and world-class human resources. Relating it to the United States, Mr. Yun discussed the importance of three, more specific, growth factors: exportation, low carbon industry for the future (a green market), and innovation. Mr. Yun went on to describe that in order to promote business cooperation, to create an open business (open innovation) between foreign and domestic companies, there would be multiple steps involved. Mr. Yun also spoke about KORUS FTA, which was brought into effect March 15th of this year. Korea entered in FTA’s with two thirds of the world markets, including the United States. He explained that the general benefits of KORUS FTA are a great decrease in import tariffs and 70,000 new jobs created for the United States. KORUS FTA works on reducing tariffs for major exports such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals, agriculture (beef), medical equipment, and aerospace materials. Mr. Yun ended by discussing KOTRA, and its 50-year anniversary of establishment. Today Korea ranks seventh for total exports and its trade has risen to $1 trillion in just sixty years. On top of these accomplishments, Korea has turned itself into a donor country rather than one receiving aid.

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Business with Korea: Foreign Direct Investment & KORUS FTA