SEJONG, Oct. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of foreign companies operating in South Korea continued to grow in 2014 as the country steadily attracted more businesses from abroad, government data showed Thursday.
According to the data by the National Tax Service (NTS), the number of foreign invested firms reached 8,095 in 2014, up 0.5 percent from 8,056 the year before.
The number of foreign firms with local branches or affiliates reached 1,770 last year, up 2.8 percent from 1,722 in 2013. Liaison offices of foreign firms which can lead to a more expanded presence down the line, rose 7.3 percent on-year from 1,489 to 1,598.
“There has been a steady increase in foreign invested companies from the outset, while the number of local branches of foreign firms and liaison offices only contracted around the time of the global financial crisis of 2008,” an official said.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been able to attract a growing number of businesses in the manufacturing, logistics and services sectors over the years as it has grown into a sizable market.
Its close proximity to China and its various free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have helped fuel investments from abroad.
The NTS data showed that in 2014, 45.6 percent of all foreign affiliates in the country were U.S. and Japanese, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
“Predominance of U.S. and Japanese companies has remained unchanged in the 40-50 percent range for the past several years,” the tax service said.