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S. Korea to expand benefits for corporate onshoring

Industry 11:00 November 29, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will expand incentives for onshoring companies that can help stimulate the economy and create jobs here, the government said Thursday.

In a policy meeting presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the government announced a set of measures to lower qualifications for tax benefits and encourage more companies to bring their offshore operations back home.

South Korea has provided tax cuts and benefits for local companies relocating their factories since December 2013, but only 51 firms had made the U-turn as of 2017, according to government data.

While existing benefits were restricted to small- and medium-sized manufacturers, the new measure calls for tax cuts and incentives for large corporations and IT service providers.

The government will also double the duration of employment subsidies for small- and medium- companies to two years and provide financial aid for companies that return to build new factories in the country.

The latest move comes as Asia's fourth-largest economy has been grappling with decline in manufacturing jobs and lackluster domestic demand, which have weighed down its overall growth prospects.

According to a recent survey by the Korea Economic Research Institute, 96 percent of 150 major companies with overseas branches said they are not considering moving back to South Korea, citing excessive regulations and high labor costs.

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