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FDI in South Korea reaches record in 2014

Staff writer |
Foreign direct investment in South Korea hit an all-time high last year, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

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The amount of FDI pledged in 2014 amounted to $19 billion, while actual direct investment totaled $11.5 billion, both records. The previous FDI record was $11 billion in 1999 when Korean businesses were busy flogging assets to foreign investors in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

A ministry official said the record FDI stemmed from $1.19 billion in investments from China, which surged around 147 percent compared to 2013, and $6.5 billion from the EU, which rose 35 percent over the same period. But the weak Japanese yen led to a 7.5 percent drop in FDI from Japan to $2.49 billion.

The large investment from the EU was actually due to U.S.-based Corning and Saudi Arabia's ARAMCO investing in Korea via financial entities in the Netherlands and Belgium due to tax incentives.

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