News ID: 2333
Published: 0352 GMT September 28, 2014

S. Koreans, firms invest nearly $23b in tax havens

South Korean companies and individuals invested nearly $23 billion in 50 tax havens over the past seven years, data showed on Sunday.

According to the data by the National Tax Service and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, South Korean individuals and companies invested $22.77 billion in the tax havens from 2007 through 2013, Yonhap reported.

The amount represents about 12 percent of overall overseas investments made by South Korea worth 197.88 trillion won ($189.4 billion) during the period.

Of the tax haven investments, 79.6 percent were made by big local companies, while 9.6 percent were made by small and mid-sized companies.

The money going to the tax havens has been on the rise since 2009 when the country was hit by the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, coming in at 5.41 trillion won in 2013.

The ratio of the tax haven investment to South Korea's overall overseas investment rose to 17.4 percent last year from 8 percent in 2007.

Conglomerates contributed the most to the increase, the lawmaker who demanded the data said.

"The rise in the investment to tax havens was due mostly to local big companies' increased investment," Rep. Oh Jae-sae of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said. "We need to keep closer tabs on their move to use the tax havens as it could lead to tax evasion."


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