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Korea-EU Direct Investment Links: The Neglected Facet of a Tight Partnership in: The Routledge Handbook of Europe-Korea Relations, Nicolas Casarini et al. (eds), Routledge, Chapter 12, 2022

Despite their difference in size, Korea and the EU have developed over time a strong and deep relation through direct investment flows. Germany dominates the relationship, but there remains ample room for the other EU member-states to further develop their relations with Korea.


A striking feature of the relationship is the way complementarities between the two partners have been exploited. First, Korean investments have proven instrumental in helping and supporting the industrial development in Central and Eastern European countries (in particular the four Visegrad countries). Second, Korean investments in the most advanced EU member states as well as some of these countries’ investments in Korea increasingly aim at innovation and technology-based partnerships. Over time, Korea and its European partners have been heading towards closer partnerships, especially in innovative sectors.

In the coming years, two major factors can be expected to pave the way for a further deepening of the bilateral relationship. First, in the context of rising tensions between the United States and China, the two like-minded partners will likely be induced to engage in deeper cooperation. Second, in the wake of the Brexit, although the EU economy may go through a period of uncertainty, it will still provide great opportunities that Korean investors certainly do not want to miss.

> The full chapter is available in Nicolas Casarini, et. al. (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Europe-Korea Relations, Routledge, Chapter 12, 2022.  

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Investment Europe South Korea