Invest KOREA

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Invest KOREA
government agency
Key people
Yong-kook Kim, Head
Products foreign direct investment support

Invest KOREA (IK), Korea's national investment promotion agency, was established as part of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to support the entry and establishment of foreign businesses in South Korea by providing comprehensive services to foreign businesses, including consultations, assistance with investment and corporate establishments, support for business activities in Korea and grievance resolution.


Invest KOREA's predecessor, the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC) was established in 1998 in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis as part of the liberalization of the Korean investment regime.


Invest KOREA aims to provide a one-stop service that covers pre-investment consultation, investment execution and post-investment processes.

Pre-investment Consultation[edit]

  • Preliminary information study : Search and provide information required for investment feasibility study
  • Find potential investors and arrange consultations : Find investment partners
  • Consultations on specific sectors : Incentives, legal affairs, accounting, taxation industrial sites, etc.

Investment Execution[edit]

  • Investment notification : Receive notification of foreign investment (issuance of certificate of foreign investment)
  • Arrival of investment : Issuance of registration certificate of foreign-invested company
  • Search for factory site : Look for optimal factory site for investors and provide relevant administrative services
  • Corporate establishment : Support for corporate registration and licensing and approvals
  • Visa issuance : D-8, F-3, etc.

Post-Investment Service[edit]

  • Foreign Investment Ombudsman : "Home doctors" resolve the grievances of foreign-invested companies
  • Visa extension : Handle works related to alien registration and extension of stay
  • Support life in Korea : Search for houses, foreign schools and surrounding living facilities to help workers of foreign-invested companies and their families get settled in Korea


The organizational structure of Invest KOREA

Based in the Invest KOREA headquarters in Seoul, the head of Invest KOREA is supported by staff members who are KOTRA employees, recruited specialists in investment-related fields, and civil servants seconded from other agencies and ministries, including the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy under whose umbrella Invest KOREA falls. Invest KOREA works in collaboration with its network of 39 overseas branch offices called Korea Business Centers, which are located in the financial and industrial centers of the world. Invest KOREA implements government policies on foreign investment that have been formulated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and coordinated by the Foreign Investment Committee.

Invest KOREA takes a three-pronged approach to attracting foreign investment:

  • the provision of information on markets and promising industries for investment through Korea Business Centers,
  • services that are provided by Invest KOREA's project managers,
  • post-investment aftercare, provided by the Office of the Investment Ombudsman.

Investment Consulting Center (ICC)[edit]

The Investment Consulting Center (ICC) provides tailored consulting services free of charge to foreigners who wish to invest in Korea. The services include pre-investment market research, administrative support, and settlement assistance for establishing businesses in Korea. The center is staffed by 20 consultants, who are private-sector experts including accountants, lawyers and labor lawyers and civil servants with experiences in sectors including visa, tax, customs and environment.

At the ICC, investors can receive one-on-one consultations on taxation, accounting, and law in the beginning of an investment, and receive administrative assistance directly from government officials for visa application, certification of investment completion and business registration. The center also provides personalized life settlement consultations and one-day, on-site assistance to help investors settle successfully in Korea.

Free consultations are available both for foreign investors and their family members via phone, fax, online, video conference or walk-in during our office hours.

Invest Korea Plaza (IKP)[edit]

Invest Korea Plaza (IKP) is Korea’s first business incubation center and investment support facility for foreign investors. IKP is located in Seoul, the business hub of Northeast Asia. About 40 foreign-invested companies rent offices at IKP every year to receive one-stop service ranging from administrative support to business consultations. The experts at IKP specialize in a variety of sectors including law, accounting, tax, customs, visa, labor and industrial sites and offer services related to foreign investment consultations, investment notification and grievance resolution.

The Plaza also provides offices, business lounges, video conference rooms, shower stalls and sleeping lounge for foreign investors.

Office of the Foreign Investment Ombudsman[edit]

The Office of the Foreign Investment Ombudsman (OFIO), which was established in 1999, aims to resolve the grievances of foreign-invested companies operating in Korea.

The Foreign Investment Ombudsman is commissioned by the President of the Republic of Korea and the OFIO operates a "Home Doctor" system under which specialists from various fields, such as finance, accounting, law, industrial sites, taxation, law etc., provide foreign-invested companies one-on-one service by investigating and resolving a wide range of grievances in the most efficient and effective manner.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation have acknowledged Korea’s Foreign Investment Ombudsman system as an effective way to prevent investor-state disputes. The OFIO works to prevent problems and improve Korea’s investment environment.

KOTRA Express[edit]

The KOTRA Express, formerly known as the Invest KOREA (IK) Express, has been published by KOTRA since 1983. Initially known as the Invest Korea Journal, the periodical, with a subscription-only readership of 15,000, presents perspectives on Korea's investment trends, economy, industry, trade and culture. Invest Korea Journal subscribers include executives of foreign-invested companies, embassies and public corporations in Korea, as well as actual and potential investors and key audiences overseas. The magazine is carried on Asiana Airlines flights to and from Korea, and is placed in every room of Seoul's major hotels.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]