Business Opportunities for foreign investors in South Korea

During the Nineties South Korea has become more and more open to foreign investments, especially after the 1997 crisis. The main sources of FDI (foreign direct investment) in South Korea are the European Union, the USA and Japan.

Opportunities for foreign companies to invest in South Korea exist in some markets, Korean Wonsuch as:

- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – because of South Korean government's ten-year plan dedicated to the development of its national spatial data infrastructure.

- Software and Internet based solutions – due to the large use made by South Koreans of Internet and IT solutions.

- Non-memory semiconductors – these are in high demand in South Korea.

- Pollution control and safety and security equipment at an industrial level – this is due to South Korean government increasing concern about pollution control and safety issues at the work place.

- Aircrafts parts and equipment – these are still largely imported by South Korea and the demand is increasing due to an increase in air travel.

- Education – more and more South Koreans travel abroad to complete their studies, mostly to Canada and the USA but also to the EU. English teaching training programmes and business training programmes are becoming more popular everyday.

Practical information on South Korea Business and trade

Import regulations: today it is possible to import most products to South Korea without any license and the importer has to fill a declaration form.

Custom duties: these on average range between 0% and 8% according to the type of product. However, there is still high taxation on some goods, especially agriculture goods, for which a system of tariff quotas stands.

Patents and brands: the KIPO (Korea Industrial Property Office) registers trademarks and patents. Patents are recorded for 15 years and trademarks for ten years, renewable for ten more years.

Currency: the South Korean currency is the Won (see the currency converter for its updated value

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