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KITA chief touts Ireland’s business-friendly policy

Nov. 2, 2023 - 15:07 By Song Seung-hyun

Korean International Trade Association Vice Chairman Jeong Marn-ki (left) and Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney pose for a photo during a networking event jointly organized by KITA and Enterprise Ireland at Trade Tower in Seoul, Wednesday. (KITA)

Jeong Marn-ki, vice chairman of the Korea International Trade Association, said South Korea should learn from Ireland's policy for foreign businesses during a networking event jointly organized with Enterprise Ireland on Wednesday at Trade Tower in Seoul.

Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.

“Thanks to the creation of a business-friendly environment and active attraction of foreign investments, Ireland is expected to see the world's highest per capita gross domestic product in 2023,” Jeong said during the event.

He explained that Ireland has attracted big tech companies like Apple and Google by offering low corporate taxes and high tax incentives.

"Ireland offers 25 percent tax cuts on R&D spending while maintaining the lowest corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent in Europe," he said.

He went on to explain that even though low tax rates might appear to decrease tax revenue, the attractive tax rate helps draw more companies, leading to an overall boost in tax revenue.

"Currently, multinational corporations account for 20 percent of Ireland's total tax revenue, “ he added.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Ireland, the event was also attended by around 60 Korean startup representatives.

Along with Jeong, Simon Coveney, Ireland's minister for enterprise, trade and employment, Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Michael Lohan, CEO of the Industrial Development Authority of Ireland, and officials from six Irish startups, including Transfer Mate, also attended the event.

During the meeting, Coveney also expressed his high expectations for ongoing collaboration with South Korean companies in emerging industries, including AI.