Korea made a foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD 10.71 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 30.2% from the same period last year. This is, indeed, the strongest Q1 figure on record.
By type of business, the nation significantly increased its outbound investment in wholesale & retail, publication, image, broadcasting communications & information
services, and electricity, gas, steam & water, while scaling back in finance & insurance, and real estate & lease, the most favored investment targets of recent years.
By geography, Korea’s FDI in North America was on the rise for the third quarter running, but declined in other regions.
By country, the United States where the nation directed its investment most benefited from the increased money inflow to wholesale & retail, and publication, image, broadcasting communications & information services businesses, which was at the forefront of the overall firstquarter FDI growth.
This uptrend in the nation’s FDI is likely to continue until the year end, taking into account domestic corporations’ ongoing plans to invest overseas for business expansion.
Furthermore, positive factors such as economic recovery in advanced countries, rising commodity prices and upbeat investor sentiment are expected to facilitate the FDI globally. Yet, there is also a non-negligible possibility that growing external uncertainties from increased trade protectionism and interest rate hikes in major economies could derail the upward movement.