Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea reached an all-time high of $26.9 billion last year, up 17.2 percent from the previous year.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, the country’s FDI inflow came at $26.9 billion, exceeding the $20 billion level for four consecutive years. Actual investments also surged 20.9 percent on year to $16.39 billion.
By region, FDI from the European Union soared 26.9 percent against a year-ago period to $8.92 billion, recording the largest inflow thanks to the aggressive promotion activities through high-level investor relations (IR) conferences.
New FDI committed by the U.S. jumped 24.8 percent on year to $5.88 billion, as many American firms tried to do businesses in third countries by acquiring some stakes in Korean firms having outstanding technology. Increased joint ventures also contributed to the rise.
Direct investment from China surged 238.9 percent to $2.74 billion. On the other hand, new FDI from Japan plunged 29.4 percent to $1.3 billion, due to decreasing investment demand by Japanese firms for Korean peers, down cycle of facility investment for chemical, electric and electronics sectors and increased domestic capital investments in Japan.
Greenfield investment, referring to investments by foreigners establishing factories or subsidiaries in the country, rose 27.4 percent to $20.01 billion, reaching an all-time high. Investments through merger and acquisitions (M&A) decreased 4.9 percent to $6.89 billion on falling joint ventures.
By Lim Sung-hyun and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]