FDI pledges to S. Korea hit fresh high in Q1 on manufacturing sector

SEOUL, Foreign direct investment (FDI) pledges to South Korea jumped 25.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday, on the back of the robust performance of the manufacturing sector. South Korea received US$7.05 billion worth of FDI commitments in the January-March period, compared with $5.63 billion logged a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The amount of investment that actually arrived in South Korea, however, fell 49 percent over the period to $1.85 billion. "Despite the challenging conditions, including the slowing global economic growth and high interest rates, the FDI commitment renewed its fresh high, reflecting foreign investors' confidence in South Korea," the ministry said in a statement. The ministry noted that the investment in areas outside the greater Seoul area came to $2.25 billion, up 64 percent on-year, raising hopes for the revitalization of the regional economy. By industry, the manufacturing segment garnered FDI pled ges worth $3.08 billion in the first quarter, nearly doubling from a year earlier. The electronics industry, including semiconductors, received FDI commitments worth $1.45 billion, posting twofold growth over the period. The machinery and chemical industries also saw their FDI pledges rise 49.2 percent and 69.5 percent, respectively, the data showed. The service sector, on the other hand, won FDI pledges worth $3.8 billion, down 2.5 percent over the period. The finance and insurance industry received FDI pledges worth $2.19 billion in the first quarter, up 34.3 percent on-year. By investor, the United States pledged to make $720 million worth of investments in the first quarter, down 3.4 percent on-year. The European Union pledged to make investments worth $570 million, also down 69.8 percent over the period. FDI pledges from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, however, more than doubled to reach $2.12 billion, jumping from $860 million tallied a year earlier. The government earlier said it would aim to rece ive FDI pledges worth $35 billion in 2024. Source: Yonhap News Agency