|Business Confidence Survey 2016 Press Conference|
On January 17, representatives of 12 European chambers and business councils, Roland Berger Ltd., and media participated in the Business Confidence Survey 2016 Press Conference hosted at Seoul Square.
For the third year, the survey has been conducted to gauge European companies’ perceptions towards the business environment of Korea. In partnership with Roland Berger, European chambers and business councils collectively organized the survey.
A total of 131 companies, representing over 60,000 employees and a total turnover of EUR 50 billion, participated in the survey held in November 2016. The company profile included various industries, diversely ranging from services to manufacturing to provide an unbiased viewpoint. Of the respondents, 71% have operated in Korea for more than a decade.
Christoph Heider, President of European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) led the opening of the event, touching upon the significance of the survey as a medium to deliver a message to the public and receive direct feedback from relevant counterparts.
Overall, European companies viewed Korea as an important market. New companies are looking to enter the market while most of the respondents had plans to expand their business operations within the next few years. Yet, they still faced some difficulties in the area of labour costs and competition.
European companies pinpointed the biggest challenge to be the regulatory x-framework in Korea. As reported in the survey, “40% of companies stated that they experienced a loss of business opportunities, due to either market access or regulatory barriers.”
The respondents answered reducing ambiguous rules and regulations was the most paramount in order to increase business performance. Also, the discretionary enforcement of regulation stood out as the key obstacle for foreign companies operating in Korea.