Republic of Korea
Despite the Korean War and the Asian Currency Crisis, the Republic of Korea has economically grown since its foundation in 1948. Now, its per capita GDP ranks No.4 in Asian countries following Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong(IMF 2014). Its progress can best be seen in the industries related to electric/electronic products such as semiconductors, liquid crystals and mobile phones, and to automobiles, steel, shipbuilding, etc. Also, a number of transactions are carried out with Japan. Having concluded the Free Trade Agreements with the EU and the U.S., the Republic of Korea is attracting attention as an export base for those areas. Due to its population of approximately 50 million and geographical close proximity to Japan, the Republic of Korea is attractive as a consumer market.
Also making the Republic of Korea attractive for Japanese companies is the fact that its legal system is similar to that of Japan, and it is a democratic state where its President is appointed through a direct election. Unlike other Asian countries, there is no restriction on inbound investment except for certain specific exclusions.
On the other hand, the restrictions on the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act and guidelines on the Act are strict, and more than 800 disputes are brought to the Korea Commercial Arbitration Board each year. Therefore, the risk of legal dispute cannot be ignored.
Our firm has been involved in various cases including M&A in the Republic of Korea, response to an investigation by the Korea Fair Trade Commission, international arbitration between Japanese and Korean companies, and arrangement of joint venture agreements, business transaction agreements, license agreements, etc., with Korean companies.