SEOUL, July 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged to South Korea’s free economic zones (FEZs) more than doubled in the first half of this year to hit a three-year high amid post-pandemic economic recovery, data showed Thursday.
The country’s nine FEZs received US$560 million worth of FDI commitment during the January-June period, up 164 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It is the highest figure since the first half of 2019, when the FDI commitment came to $960 million.
The country has designated nine FEZs across the country since 2003, including those in the western city of Incheon and the southeastern port city of Busan, by offering tax incentives and eased regulations for foreign companies.
By segment, investment in the manufacturing sector, including auto and parts fields, came to $310 million, and the service segment, such as logistics and research and development, stood at $250 million, the data showed.
By investor, North America accounted for 51 percent of the total FDI pledges in the free economic zones in the first quarter with $287 million, followed by the European union with $107 million and Japan with $72 million.
Last year, the foreign direct investment pledged to the FEZs jumped 42.8 percent on-year to come to $1.31 billion led by the overseas investment in bio and other new industry sectors, according to government data.