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Foreign investment pledges shrink 11% in 2020

Park Jung-wook, investment policy officer of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy briefs on the foreign direct investment trends of last year at Government Complex Sejong on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Park Jung-wook, investment policy officer of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy briefs on the foreign direct investment trends of last year at Government Complex Sejong on Tuesday. (Yonhap)


Foreigners’ investment pledges to South Korea dropped 11.1 percent last year due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy, foreigners pledged investments worth $20.75 billion in 2020, down from $23.33 billion a year ago.

Of the investment pledges, the amount executed came in at $11.09 billion, a 17 percent dive on-year from $13.36 billion.

“Foreign direct investment decreased significantly in the first half of last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, as the country entered a recovery phase in the second half of the year, Korea was able to reach a $20 billion mark for six consecutive years since 2015,” an Industry Ministry official said.

In the first half of last year, declared foreign direct investment nose-dived 22.4 percent on-year to $7.66 billion. The second half only saw a 2.8 percent dip to $13.09 billion in the same period.

Investment pledges from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia increased 26.5 percent to $5.46 billion. China was most aggressive of them, pledging to spend $1.99 billion, a 102.8 percent hike on-year.

Meanwhile, declared foreign investments from the US, European Union and Japan plunged 22.5 percent, 33.8 percent and 49.1 percent respectively to $5.3 billion, $4.72 billion and $730 million, respectively.

By Kim Byung-wook(kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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