Foreign Investment Key to Korea's Success: Toffler

Article excerpt

Alvin Toffler, a world's renowned U.S. futurist, yesterday stressed the importance of foreign investment for countries like Korea, saying it is a mistake to oppose the tide of globalization.

Toffler said during a press conference at the Seoul Hilton Hotel that foreign capital inflow builds the infrastructure of the receiving economy while portfolio investment creates additional value.

``Globalization always provides benefits. Some nationalists may point to the other side of the story but it is a mistake to oppose foreign investment,'' he said.

Citing examples of U.S. and Japanese cases, Toffler said that foreign establishments were key to their economic success.

``When the U.S. needed infrastructure like highways, foreign companies financed the projects,'' he said.

``Now, the U.S. financial sector is moving to the Japanese market. U.S. firms have helped Japan upgrade the quality of her financial market. They are not there to own Japanese properties,'' he said.

The U.S. futurist, a member of the foreign advisory panel to President Kim Dae-jung, is attending the APEC Forum on ``Shared Prosperity and Harmony'' in Seoul.

Recently, there has been controversy in the Korean political circle between the ruling party and the opposition camp over the long-term benefits of inbound foreign investment.

The ruling camp, backed by the present administration, claims that foreign investment is key to the nation's survival in the global environment whereas the opposition argues that foreigners only take away the national resources.

Toffler indicated that the opposition's call is unfounded.

In regard to Korea's corporate recovery, he said that policy makers should focus on reforming social values together with the restructuring of physical properties and assets.

``In Korea, restructuring needs to be focused at maintaining social cohesion. …