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Time for non-face-to-face interactions to attract foreign investments

-KOTRA began online investment counseling service to reach out to foreign investors
-Teamed up with 10 local governments by shooting a promotional video to help investors worldwide learn more of Korea
Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (President and CEO, Kwon Pyung-Oh) launched a web-based investment counseling service, which aims to further attract foreign investments into Korea.

KOTRA’s FDI general administrative assistant center (hereinafter referred to as FDI service center), which consists of a cohort of private-public professionals, has begun the counseling service via online platform to reach out to investors worldwide.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (abbr. UNCTAD) recently unveiled an FDI outlook and analysis for 2020, which says the global foreign direct investment flows are expected to fall by up to 40 percent year-on-year, and this would bring FDI below USD 1 trillion.

Under such circumstances where the coronavirus pandemic caused global foreign direct investment to shrink, while cutting off normal social interactions, KOTRA devised the FDI service center as part of countermeasures to get through the crisis.

For keeping in touch with global investors online, the center has studied demand for the service with 36 investment hubs across the world since early last month and figured out investors’ needs in major economies such as Singapore, Tokyo, Qingdao, New York and Frankfurt.

At the beginning of the service, which started on Jul 1, a potential investor ‘E’ in Germany contacted the center to get the counseling service. The German-based offshore wind turbine maker shared information on legislative and administrative requirements to incorporate a separate legal entity in Korea and the local authorities-led 2020 energy initiatives to form large-scale wind farms.

The second round of the service goes into on Jul 7. A Singaporean e-commerce site, ‘S’, interested in labor laws in Korea is set to join the service to meet with advisors to have detailed guidelines for paid parental or maternity leave as by law enacted in Korea.

Head of KOTRA’s FDI service center said “We’ve got a large group of professionals, officials and delegates from all different sectors to give a useful piece of advice. Based upon a wealth of resources we have, KOTRA would like to provide in-depth information online for our investors worldwide.”

Apart from the counseling program, KOTRA recently made a short promotional video clip with dozens of local governments for the purpose of informing potential investors about business environment in Korea, benefits to enjoy when investing in each local community, industry infrastructure, business ideas with enormous potential and major projects that local authorities are pushing on. Sharing the video footage with overseas offices, KOTRA opens an online channel through which one-on-one virtual meeting between investors and investees is available.

President and CEO of the agency said “Honestly, it’s a bit concerning if the IR project doesn’t work properly as the pandemic has made businesses worldwide very careful about investment. Regardless of the unfavorable market conditions, KOTRA will further tighten solidarity with local governments to fight through this unforeseen crisis."

Source : KOTRA (2020.07.06)

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