The Embassy of Korea has several resources to help those interested in doing business with Korean companies.
This is Korea's largest non-profit business association, with a history of 56 years.
Over the past half-century, KITA has grown into a trade promotion agency representing Korean businesses. KITA provides a variety of direct services such as business arrangements and trade consulting. It also assists trading companies in resolving grievances by reportingthem to relevant government authorities. KITA will continue to enhance public awareness on the significance of trade in order to foster and promote Korea's commercial potential with the global community.
It has been and will continue to be the driving force behind Korea's internationaltrade in the 21st century by building the necessary infrastructure through the training of trade experts, establishing cyber trade infrastructure, hosting international special exhibitions, and implementing new trade strategies.
KITA offers several resources for those seeking information on trade with Korea. There is a company directory and trade statistics for Korea, as well as information on upcoming trade exhibitions.
For more information on KITA, please visit their English-language website athttp://www.kita.org
KOTRA came into being as the Korea Trade Promotion Corporation, a nonprofit governmental organization established June 21st, 1962 to pursue the national policy goals of maintaining the trade balance and building a self-reliant economy. For almost four decades, KOTRA has contributed to the development of the Korean economy through various trade promotion activities, such as trade information, market research services and business matchmaking.
With its long-term experience and expertise, KOTRA stands fully ready to serve and assist all interested parties worldwide to do business with Korea.
In August 1995, KOTRA added cross-border investment promotion and support for technological and industrial cooperation projects to its mandate, assuming its present name of the "Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency". Since the economic crisis of 1997, the Korean government has been pursuing a strategy of encouraging exports and inducing foreign investment in the belief such a two-fold approach is the only way to return the country to prosperity and sustainable growth. KOTRA is committed to playing a key role in the implementation of this policy.
In order to execute its mandate more efficiently, KOTRA has built an extensive worldwide network of overseas Korea Trade Centers (KTC). Some 98 KTCs operate in 72 countries as of March 2002.
Invest Korea(IK), Korea's national investment promotion agency, was established within the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) with the sole purpose of supporting the entry and successful establishment of foreign business into Korea. With assistance extending to comprehensive post-establishment services, IK enables foreign corporations to maximize the benefits of the Korean investment environment to ensure their rapid settlement in Korea. The agency is committed to providing unmatched, comprehensive one-stop service that allows foreign investors to join many of the world's most successful corporations who have selected Korea as an investment destination and been rewarded by high returns on the investment.
Established in 1998 in the wake of the financial crisis, the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC) was part of a radical liberalization of the Korean investment regime. However, after initial success, slowing inbound capital flows made it apparent that a new paradigm for investment attraction was in order. It was decided this new paradigm would include employing a more pro-active approach to induce foreign investors, targeting potential investors with closer reference to the strengths of Korea's industrial base, and developing a one-stop service to accurately address foreign investors' needs and difficulties. It was also deemed crucial for agency staff to gain a profound knowledge of the industries with which they were dealing.
Launch of Invest KOREA
In addressing the above points, the government finalized a comprehensive plan to attract foreign investment in September 2003 with the twin aims of increasing foreign investment and reforming the overall FDI support system. These changes were embodied in the transformation and expansion of KISC and its relaunch as Invest KOREA.
Investment Promotion Systems
Invest KOREA attracts foreign investment by identifying potential foreign investors, supporting investment projects, providing aftercare services for foreign investors, and building a cooperative network with related organizations. IK's investment promotion and support capability was considerably strengthened by the introduction of the Project Manager (PM) system, under which a PM is designated for each investment project to offer customized support throughout its entirety, from providing investment consultations and obtaining licenses and approvals to actually launching a business. In addition to the project managers, as of the end of 2005, Invest KOREA had a pool of 28 experts in such fields as finance, tax, law, securities, accounting, and construction to smooth the foreign investment process and ensure investors claim the full range of benefits available.
For more information on KISC, please visit their website at http://www.investkorea.org