Korean foreign direct investment in Europe: The determining forces

Christopher M. Dent*, Claire Randerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Korea's more complete integration into the world economy has been stunted by past government policies aimed at preserving comprehensive control over the domestic economy. This situation has recently changed owing to prevailing structural weaknesses in the Korean economy and the dictates of the global competitive environment. Consequently, the level of Korean overseas investment has escalated, particularly in Europe — the Triad region which has traditionally attracted limited inward FDI from Korea's large chaebol companies. This paper examines the determining forces that lie behind this trend. It is recognized that early Korean investments in the EU were principally driven by reactionary motives when confronted by actual or anticipated policy threats. While it is argued that the pretext for such investment has not significantly diminished, the imperatives of globalization together with emerging economic conditions in both east and west Europe have provided considerable incentives for more proactive FDI strategies to be adopted. The recent announcements by senior chaebol of intended large‐scale investments in Europe suggest that this new pattern is becoming increasingly apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-552
Number of pages22
JournalPacific Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Foreign investment
  • Investment incentives
  • Nation states
  • Transnational corporations


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