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"North Korea's controversial rocket launch put the South Korean government and the international community on their toes throughout a dramatic weekend, but the latest fiasco doesn't seem to have stopped or bothered foreign investors from doing business in the country bordering one of the world's most threatening nations.
Sunday's launch was news, but nothing new, executives said Monday, after the communist North fired off a long-range rocket despite international warnings to refrain from doing so.
``The problems in the North have been there and known for the past 50 years,'' said Hans Bernhard Merforth, vice president of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea, a business lobby group representing 850 European companies. ``The political instability is certainly not positive, but it won't affect investors in any new way.''
He said escalating problems may renew emphasis down the road, but Pyongyang's latest action should be seen as a ``warning, not a red flag.''
North Korea's provocative move hasn't led to an immediate downgrade in the credit ratings of Asia's fourth-largest economy, as major international agencies stated that the developments were already reflected in the current status.
Darren Krakowiak, director of Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate consultancy, said that the rocket may have many diplomatic and military implications, but has a minimal impact from a commercial perspective.
``I have never once had anyone ask about North Korea when making an investment decision,'' said the two-year resident of Korea, who advises prospective property buyers around the world on the local market.
He said someone considering an investment today won't reconsider tomorrow simply because of the rocket.
Those who feel overly cautious probably aren't serious about investing here, said Tom Coyner, who provides consultation for inbound investors as the president of Soft Landing.
``People who did their research and know the country should understand what the investment conditions are like here,'' he said, adding that the unnerved crowd usually only has a vague idea of the peninsula without knowing the ``clear difference between North and South Korea.''
Sakong Il, the chairman of the Korea International Trade Association and senior economic adviser to President Lee Myung-bak, told reporters that the reclusive state's rocket launch itself shouldn't be a worry for investors.
``The international community has a general agreement on how to address the situation,'' he said, adding that proper counteractive measures should dampen any concerns."
in "The Korea Times", edição de hoje
publicado por Francisco Van Zeller às 14:16 | comentar | partilhar