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FDI pledges to S. Korea fall 15.6% in H1 amid global uncertainties

Officials attend a signing ceremony in Seoul last Wednesday, meant to boost foreign investment in South Korea, in this file photo provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
Officials attend a signing ceremony in Seoul last Wednesday, meant to boost foreign investment in South Korea, in this file photo provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)

Foreign direct investment (FDI) pledges to South Korea fell 15.6 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier amid global uncertainties caused by the prolonged crisis surrounding Ukraine and surging inflation, the industry ministry said Friday.

The country received $11.09 billion worth of FDI commitments during the first six months of this year, compared with $13.14 billion logged a year earlier, when the amount hit an all-time high for any first halves, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

This year's figure, however, still marked the third-largest amount ever for the January-June period, the ministry said.

The amount of investment that actually arrived in South Korea shed 21.7 percent on-year to come to $6.97 billion, the data showed.

A total of 1,640 investment pledges were made during the cited period, up 10.1 percent from the previous year.

"The figure reflects uncertainties among global investors over the continued crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the global inflation and rate hikes," the ministry said in a release.

"But we saw a growth in the number of FDI pledges, as well as the amount of investment in the manufacturing sector and greenfield investment," it added. Greenfield investment means a parent company begins a new venture or establishes new facilities.

By industry, the manufacturing sector received investment pledges of $3.1 billion, up 53.3 percent from a year earlier, as bio and food businesses won larger investment.

But FDI pledges to the service sector tumbled 26.3 percent to come to $7.64 billion in the first half, according to the ministry.

By investor, the United States pledged to make $2.95 billion worth of investment in the first half, up 39.5 percent on-year. The figure from Japan also jumped 62.1 percent to $890 million.

But investment from the European Union and Britain sank 73.2 percent to $1.74 billion due to a high base effect, and that from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia also decreased 13.1 percent on-year to $2.45 billion in the January-June period, the data showed.

Greenfield investment grew 9.1 percent on-year to come to $8.26, which accounted for 74.5 percent of the new investment, while the investment in the form of mergers and acquisitions fell 49.2 percent on-year to $2.83 billion, the data showed. (Yonhap)

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