Foreigners made commitments of direct investments worth 23.8 trillion won in Korea last year, exceeding $20 billion for the first time (at last year’s exchange rate), officials said.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, foreign direct investments reported to it totaled $20.91 billion last year, up 10 percent from 2014, to hit its highest level. The actual arrival of money also broke the annual record with $15.95 billion.
G2 – the United States and China – took the lead in making direct investment in Korea. U.S. investors made investments of $5.48 billion, up 51.8 percent from 2014. Their Chinese counterparts made investments worth $1.98 billion, an increase of 66.3 percent. Middle East investors recorded a hefty 514.1 percent increase in direct investment, thanks mainly to Dubai Investment Agency’s takeover of Ssangyong Construction. On the other hand, European and Japanese investment plunged sharply, by 61.6 percent and 33.1 percent, respectively, the ministry said.
By type of investment, mergers and acquisitions fell 14.8 percent to $6.8 billion while “green-field investment” (into building factories) rose 28 percent to $14.1 billion.
“We expect this year’s foreign direct investment will also reach $20 billion if the global economy shows recovery, albeit slowly, and the effects of the free trade agreement with China takes effect in earnest,” a ministry official said.