South Korea received $19.20bn worth of FDI commitments from January to September, which represents a 41.4% spike from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The actual investment made by foreign companies over the period reached $11.70bn, jumping 31.9% from the previous year, according to the ministry. Investment pledges from the European Union jumped 63.1% to $5.13bn in the first nine months of the year, mostly in the form of stake investments and M&A.
American companies sought partnerships and stake acquisitions in high-tech industries and tech startups, pledging $4.09bn over the period, a 41% increase. New FDI pledged from China rose to a whopping 292% to $2.39bn, the largest-ever amount, led by brisk investment in the service industry.
By sectors, the manufacturing industry drew in $8.38bn worth of investment pledges as offshore investors sought joint venture partners in electronics, machinery equipment and bio sectors. Service industries attracted $10.64bn of new investment from abroad in emerging technology fields like e-commerce, cloud computing, mobile platforms and fintech—according to the ministry.
The ministry said this year’s FDI may top $20bn, reaching a new record high. Last year, foreign direct investment in the country reached $22.9bn.