Dr. Hwy-Chang Moon's blog

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Drivers of Korean Startups’ FDI: Government Support or Regulations?

The Korean government has been well-known for the significant support it gives to startups pursuant to its “Creative Economy” policy, which aims to stimulate economic growth through innovation and job creation. Ironically, given this strong backing, there have been an increasing number of Korean startups investing abroad to bypass the strict regulations of their home country. Although Korean startups have advanced technology, they are hamstrung by burdensome government regulations.

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The Global Trade War and Korea’s FDI Strategy

Concerns about the possible negative impact on Korea’s economy from the global trade war, sparked by the escalation of American trade protectionism, are serious and real. However, aside from what news reports discuss as a potential threat to world trade, the most critical area that deserves our attention is foreign direct investment (FDI).

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Sustaining the Development of Korean FDI in China

Korean Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China has significantly decreased in recent years, particularly because of restrictive Chinese policies resulting from Korea’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Illustrating this, in 2017 it was 50 percent lower than its recent peak in 2013.

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Why Is Vietnam Korea’s Favorite FDI Destination in ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) has become a major destination for Korean foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2016, this region alone attracted about one half of Korea’s outward FDI (OFDI). Moreover, one half of Korea’s FDI flows within this regional bloc were concentrated in Vietnam. Korea is the biggest investor in Vietnam, far ahead of the second largest, Japan.

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South Korea Must Provide a Better Business Environment to Attract Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea has grown continuously over the past two years and currently is at historical highs. However, challenges flowing from American President Donald Trump administration’s protectionist trade and reshoring policies and increasing competition from other countries proactively moving to enhance their respective business environments to attract FDI will challenge Korea’s ability to continue to successfully attract FDI. In order to remain an attractive destination for FDI, the Korean government needs to offer a more attractive business environment to foreign investors.

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Made in Home Country, Host Country, or the World? The need to Revamp Globalization Indices

South Korea is very concerned about its economy because the exports of its major conglomerates like Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motors have declined. Although their domestic production and exports are decreasing, they are producing more in foreign countries and increasing their exports from these host countries.