Everything Korea: June 1 Episode: Challenges and Solutions in Recruiting Foreign Direct Investment and Supporting their International Workforce

Just back from Greater Nashville area and specifically the Clarksville –Montgomery Economic Growth Summit. I was honored to have been asked to speak on an elite panel about international business market entry. In particular, my contribution focused on 1) how the community and its leadership can best support Korean Hankook Tire, with construction now underway for the Korean company’s it’s 1st manufacturing plant in North America, and 2) how can the community attract other top Korean FDI manufacturers.

I like to share some comments made by my colleagues Kiyo Kojima, a top lawyer specializing in Japanese market entry and Sebastian Eich an expert of German and EU business.

For starters, Japanese, German and Korean firms approach the overseas’ operations differently. Cultural nuances impact how they look at and enter new markets.

For example, although local quality education for the expat Japanese, German or Korean dependents is important. German and Japanese families expect to return to the mother countries and their children to resume schooling. More often Korean families see value in an American education, with English language proficiency — the later a competitive workplace edge. A recent trend among Korean expats then is for father to return to Korea when the assignment ends, but the family to remain in the states until the children graduate from High School and college.

BTW A positive for Clarksville is the area has the best schools in the state, along with home to the Austin Peay State University campus.

Another factor that stood out among the many questions the panel tackled included the need for a qualified and skilled workforce, not an issue in Germany, Japan or Korea, but labor force can vary much with a country the size of American, and a determining factor on picking one region over another in the site selection process.

All said, having supported major Korean manufacturing facilities in the US and globally, i found the Clarksville — Montgomery County region of Tennessee offering much…. Not to mention just miles from Nashville.

I also see as a great site for future Foreign Direct Investment as other Korean firms consider launching US manufacturing operations. If interested, I have blocked out my availability to chat and discuss…. Just go to http://www.meetme.so/southerton

Until next time.

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