The Korean government seeks to create a business cluster of financial investors by inviting global venture capital and private equity investors to establish an office at the Invest Korea Plaza (IKP) in southern Seoul.
Along with having full business facilities on hand, the IKP’s location next to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) headquarters provides investors the access to industry experts, seminars and events, along with the deal sourcing services of Invest Korea’s Finance Industry Investment Promotion Team.
Ever since it’s opening in 2006, the IKP has made it much easier for foreign investment companies to establish themselves in Korea. This business incubation complex is a one-stop solution to satisfy all of the needs of an expanding enterprise.
Exclusive, furnished offices for qualified foreign investors are immediately available for short and long-term lease. Once a business entity has applied online and has been selected as a tenant, they are appointed a Project Manager that will provide individualized support from the initial stage of investment to the actual set-up of their office in Korea.
Since IKP was designed with the sole intent to facilitate a comfortable and efficient transition for foreign investors into the Korean business world, it is equipped with many services and amenities to help make this possible. A lease contract at IKP includes: 24-hour building access, high-speed internet, and garage parking. Some of the services provided are, but not limited to; telecommunication service, cleaning service, postal service, secretarial services in English or Japanese, and multilingual document services.
Furthermore, the Investor Support Center provides daily living services that help make adjustment to life in Korea as smooth as possible. Their multilingual consultants are eager to assist foreign investors and their families by offering advice on, or answering questions about, living in Korea.
The consultants are able to provide information on Korean culture, education, healthcare, transportation, housing, tourism and more. Tenants are even able to circumvent standard immigration procedures by obtaining their visas at the Investor Support Center.
The IKP building itself is comprised of 9 floors and contains conference rooms, seminar rooms, and a lecture hall. Relaxation rooms, shower facilities, and business lounges are likewise available for tenant use. The Plaza also houses a business support center with a bank, an accounting firm, and an FDI consulting firm.
In addition, KOTRA’s in-house Investment Consulting Team offers counsel for matters regarding accounting, finance, law, securities, and taxes. Offices of investment related agencies such as the Foreign Company Association (FORCA) and the Free Economic Zone Authority are also established in IKP.
As aforementioned, leases are immediately available for qualified businesses. The duration of a long-term lease is one year and may be extended by another year if desired. Firms that are eligible for a long-term lease would be those that have registered spending of at least US$300,000 in FDI and expect to invest a minimum of U$1 million within one year.
Alternatively, a firm that expects to report an investment of at least U$300,000 within 6 months after moving in to IKP would also be eligible for a long-term lease. Short-term leases last for a fixed term of one year, with no option of renewal, and require no monthly payments.
To qualify for a short-term lease, a firm must have either a recommendation from KOTRA or KBC, or must plan on a short stay for the purpose of gathering information regarding manufacturing or a knowledge-based industry. Additionally, the selection committee will give certain businesses priority over others. Preference is given to businesses that are subject to tax reduction as well as firms that are involved in:
- Global Venture Capital
- Private Equity
- High technology
Story by Stephanie Lim