12/23/2008

Korean Investment in Asia and the West is on the Decline

A few news sources, including Law Times, have announced the financial crisis is curtailing Korean company’s investments abroad.

Kumho Tire has announced that it will suspend the building of a tire plant in Georgia. The project was scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2009.

Kia motors will likely not go forward with a $1 billion assembly plant in Georgia.

Posco Steel planed to continue its plans of building a $12 billion mill in India and a $5million mill in Vietnam. However, news has spread that the plans were scraped because of disputes with the governments.

I have a few clients that have suspended their Southeast Asia projects because of the Won’s collapse. One of the projects is the building of one of the tallest buildings in Cambodia. The foundation and a few floors have already been built.

Many in the real estate market believe that many Korean invested projects will be suspended until the won stabilizes at 1,15o. I am a little more hopeful and believe that projects that have commenced will proceed on schedule, if positive economic sentiment returns early in the New Year.

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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com