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More FDI Stressed in Korea-French Seminar
Co-Hosted by FKCCI & KOTRA on March 13, 2007
(From left) FKCCI President Philippe Li, President Jean-Francois Moreau of Anam Legrand, Invest Korea Chief Chung Tong-Soo, President Serge Villatte of Rhodia Korea poses for The Seoul Times at an investment seminar in Seoul March 13, 2007.

In a recent seminar held in Seoul French businesspeople demanded that South Korea make its investment decisions not based on labor costs, but on the market potential, while they were emphasizing that France was the third largest foreign investor in South Korea last year.

The French demand was made at the seminar hosted on March 13, 2007 by the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) at the Invest Korea Plaza in Yeomgok-dong on March 13, 2007.

The seminar was held under the title of "Foreign Investment Attractiveness; Rethinking Foreign Investment Policy and Business Models."

The seminar, arranged by the FKCCI Economic & Strategic Committee, drew more than 80 local and international guests, including representatives from investing companies, government officials and French Embassy members as well as journalists.

French Ambassador to Seoul Philippe Thiebaud gave an opening speech. In the speech Amb. Thiebaud said that he wish there would be more investment in South Korean from the French investors through this seminar.

Presentations were followed by a debate about foreign investment attractiveness, respective merits of France and South Korea and how to provide a suitable and flexible climate to foreign investors.

Mr. Philippe Favre, president of Invest in France Agency touched upon the investment situations of Korean companies in the European nation whereas Mr. Chung Tong-Soo, head of Invest Korea, mentioned the French investment in the local market.

The two presenters also introduced each other's investment policy and competitive advantages, and benefits, as well.

Mr. Lee Hae-Sun, vice president & chief marketing officer of Amore Pacific, talked about the experience of Amore Pacific, as a foreign investor involved in an industrial activity in France.

Lee argued that Amore Pacific's perfume Lolita Lempicka produced in France is huge popularity comparable to the ones of France's Chanel or Japan's Kenzo.

Mr. Jean-Francois Moreau, president of Anam Legrand and Mr. Serge Villatte, president of Rhodia Korea shared their experience with the seminar participants regarding how their business survived in the local market and how they changed their business models and adapted to the local situations.

After hours of heated discussion both local and French sides reached mutually-agreed conclusion that foreign direct investment is very conducive not only to creating jobs but also to improving technology.

The seminar was the first meeting of this year held by FKCCI Economic & Strategic Committee. The committee was formed in 2002 and seeks ways to improve bilateral economic relations and thus creating opportunities to share views between top businessmen from the French and Korean communities.

For the meeting top businesspeople and business experts of both sides gather twice a year.

In today's globalized economy, it is essential for all the countries to attract foreign investments. Korea is now confronted with several factors like the rise of labor costs and a strong competition from neighboring countries, especially China, which may affect continuous investments by foreign investors.

France, being the sixth largest economy in the world and dealing with the same constraints, has nevertheless managed to remain for quite a long time one of the most successful countries in the world in attracting foreign investments. In 2006, France was ranked number three in the world with a total amount of 88 bil. US dollars, according to FKCCI .

Due to the recent changing economic circumstances, some French companies established in South Korea have decided to transform their business models and have been successful in doing so. Their example shows that it is possible to switch to new business models in South Korea.

For details or inquiries about the event, please contact Mrs. Carine Lebecque, FKCCI executive director or her assistant, Ms. Kim Su-Hee your availability at 02- 2268-9505, fax 02- 2268-9508,






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