FDI pledges hit record high of $15.75 billion

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FDI pledges hit record high of $15.75 billion

Pledges of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea reached a record high in the first half of this year, a positive sign for the Korean economy despite unfavorable conditions abroad.

Data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed that foreigners pledged to invest $15.75 billion from January to June, up 64.2 percent from a year ago when the figure was below $10 billion. Previously, the most amount of foreign direct investment committed during any six month period was $10.56 billion in the first half of 2016.

“This is a good signal for our economy along with other positive indicators such as monthly exports, which remained above $50 billion for four straight months,” said Lee Ho-joon, director general at the Bureau of Trade Cooperation at the Trade Ministry, during a press briefing at the Sejong government complex on Wednesday.

“As a result, it’s highly probable that the FDI [committed] for the year will exceed $20 billion for the fourth year in a row this year.”

The $15.75 billion includes $3.6 billion promised by the U.S. auto giant General Motors (GM) to save its financially stressed local unit, the official explained. “But even without that amount, the FDI [committed] still rose by 26.7 percent,” he added.

The record figure came against the odds, according to the official.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]
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