Few Foreign Firms Happy with Korean Business Environment

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    November 07, 2019 12:57

    Foreign companies that have invested in Korea are increasingly dissatisfied with the business environment here.

    The proportion of foreign firms that said they are happy with the business environment here declined by half over the last six years, according to a report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

    KOTRA said Wednesday that only 26.7 percent of 345 respondents in a recent survey said they are satisfied with the business environment while 60.6 percent said it is average at best and 6.4 percent were either dissatisfied or chose not to answer.

    KOTRA conducts the survey every two years.

    In the same poll in 2013, 47.5 percent of foreign companies said they are satisfied, but that dwindled to 27.3 percent by 2017.

    The biggest reasons for dissatisfaction were labor conditions and a lack of support for innovation. In the 2013 survey, satisfaction in those areas stood at 33 and 32 percent, but that fell to 18.3 percent in the latest survey.

    Foreign companies said wages are too high and complained about militant labor unions. They also said it is difficult to find capable specialist staff outside Seoul.

    Only 18.8 percent of the companies said they want to increase investment in Korea, down 2.4 percentage points from two years ago. Some 11.9 percent said they plan to decrease investment, up 2.9 percentage points, while 62.9 percent said they will keep their investment at the present level.

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