KITA News and Reports
  • Employment of Korean-invested Companies Reached 75,000 in the US
                       Employment of Korean-invested Companies Reached 75,000 in the US


    - After the Korea-US FTA, entry into the wholesale and retail business has decreased while high-value added service industry has increased -



    Since the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement took effect, it is analyzed that the number of employees by the corporations invested by Korean entities in the US has been continuously growing and the entry into the high value added service industry has been gradually expanding.



    The Korea International Trade Association (President Kim Young-joo) analyzed the D / B of the companies in the US provided by Duns & Bradstreet (D & B), a US-based global corporate credit information company. The analysis shows that as of August this year, there are 847 companies (1,716 business offices including branch offices) in the US that Korean companies have invested in and about 75,000 employees are hired. These companies are mostly in California, Texas and New Jersey. The number of workers hired by Korean-invested firms is the highest in California.


    By the US state, these companies are mostly in California, followed by Texas, New Jersey, and Alabama. In addition, California has the largest number of employees hired by Korean-invested companies, followed by Alabama, Georgia and Texas. The Rust Belt area has 147 Korean-invested companies accounting for 17.4 percent of the total. 12,000 employees are hired by these companies accounting for 16.0% of the total employment. It implicates that Korean companies’ investment and employment are active in the Rust Belt region.



    By industry, while the proportion of manufacturing is the highest, wholesale and retail penetration has declined since the free trade pact came into effect. The analyst demonstrates that more Korean companies are entering into service sectors such as computer programming engineering, heating and cooling power systems, and transportation in the US. This means that Korean companies' market expansion into the US is shifting from a simple sales corporation to a high-value added industry and their business practice is advancing to directly providing products and services.



    The Korea International Trade Association also introduced the cases of Korean companies that invested in the US. These companies share something in common that they have boldly challenged the US market with a view to becoming a global brand and have succeeded in investing in the US as they respected the local management and the employees.

    They are maximizing their investment performance through proper role sharing between the offices in Korean and the US. They also contribute to local communities through a variety of social activities such as supporting for the underprivileged and environmental protection, etc.


    Cho Sung-tae, deputy director of Americas Department at KITA said, "There has been some allegation that the Korea-US free trade agreement has reduced jobs in the US, but it has been confirmed that Korean companies are creating high-quality jobs as their investment has been increased." He also mentioned, "As Korean companies announce plans for a large-scale investment in the United States, it is expected that employment in the United States by Korean companies will grow even more."
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