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Foreign direct investment surpasses $20b

The amount of foreign direct investment to South Korea exceeded $20 billion this year, with $15 billion having arrived here as of Tuesday, the Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy said Wednesday.

The most ever investments of $20.43 billion is an increase of 11.2 percent from that of 2014, while the $15.19 billion that has reached the country is also a 28.6 percent jump during the same period.

The authorities credited the Korea-China free trade agreement as the largest contributor.

The pact, signed in June and that came into effect on Dec. 20, is believed to have attracted Chinese businesses seeking to leverage South Korean products’ brand image and technology, mainly in the upscale consumer goods sector and cultural content production, the ministry said. Chinese investment marked $1.9 billion.

“Baby goods-maker Agabang & Company and cartoon animation producer Redrover have been chosen as the subjects for such strategic investments,” a ministry official stated.

Other notable investors were from the Middle East, with their amount surpassing $1.3 billion, followed by the U.S.’ $54.5 million.