Foreign direct investment hit new high in 2018

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Foreign direct investment hit new high in 2018

Korea’s overseas direct investment (FDI) hit a record high in 2018 as local companies acquired foreign firms and set up overseas manufacturing facilities, government data showed Friday.

Investments made by Korean companies came to $49.78 billion last year, up 11.6 percent from 2017, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The figure represents the highest since the government began to release data on investments made by local companies in 1980.

“The record investment was driven by large-scale mergers and acquisitions by Korean firms and their investment in overseas manufacturing facilities and assets,” said a ministry official handling the issue.

The United States accounted for the largest share of Korean investments with $10.81 billion in 2018, down 28.7 percent from $15.15 billion in 2017.

The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, is the second-most favored investment destination, with Korean investments reaching $6.19 billion in 2018, up 23.2 percent from 2017.

Korea’s direct investment in China jumped 48.9 percent on year to $4.77 billion in 2018.

By sector, offshore investment in foreign manufacturing soared 92.7 percent on year to reach $16.37 billion, with that allocated to the foreign insurance and financial sector rising 21 percent to $16.23 billion.

Korean investment in overseas property rose 34.8 percent to $5.08 billion in 2018.

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