Korean investors interested, but want easier processes

HOW TO KEEP THEM COMING. The Cebu Korean Association says that in 2017, there were about 25,000 Koreans living in Cebu, 9,000 of whom were in the province to study English. (SunStar file)

TO ATTRACT more Korean investors, the Cebu Korean Association (CKA) has encouraged the government to strengthen the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Law.

Charlie Cho, president of the CKA, said Cebu’s economy is booming but asked for the cutting of bureaucratic processes in the government.

“For business purposes, they are looking for lot areas, negotiations and getting building permits. Building permits, approvals, so many kinds of processing. After that, employment approval from labor department, then approval from immigration,” Cho said.

“So many steps in processing, so it takes one factory to open maybe five years,” he added.

The Ease of Doing Business Law, or Republic Act 11032, seeks to make the processes of putting up a business easier and more efficient. Simple transactions of business entities with government should be processed within three days while more substantial transactions are given seven days. Highly technical transactions are given 20 days.

Speaking at the the 2019 Korean Community Security Conference, Cho said many Korean investors are looking to put up businesses in the Philippines, especially Cebu.

“We actually welcome manufacturing because it generates employment. But we have to follow Philippine laws, and it’s not very easy to study. Many big companies are already interested in the Philippines, especially Cebu,” he said.

According to records of the Department of Tourism 7, Korean visitors in Central Visayas reached 1.3 million in 2018, the most number of foreign tourists to visit the region.

“Basically, Cebu is a tourism area. So number one, Koreans want to invest in tourism, always. Number two, they are starting little by little on manufacturing,” he said.

CKA said that in 2017 there were an estimated 25,000 Korean nationals living in Cebu. Out of the 25,000, 9,000 were students of English as a second language. (JOB)


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