SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — New foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged to South Korea fell 13.3 percent on-year in 2019, data showed Monday, in the face of the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.
South Korea received US$23.3 billion worth of FDI commitments last year, compared with $26.9 billion in 2018, according to the data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
However, last year marked the fifth consecutive year South Korea received more than $20 billion in annual FDI pledges.
FDI pledged to South Korea dropped 35.7 percent and 38.1 percent in the first and second quarters of last year, respectively, as the prolonged trade row between Washington and Beijing weighed on investor sentiment.
But FDI to South Korea rebounded in the second half, helped by big investments by foreign technology firms, according to the data.
Last November, U.S. semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research Corp. said it will invest $140 million to build a technology center in Yongin, about 50 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
South Korea has planned to expand incentives for FDI as part of measures to cope with growing uncertainties stemming from the escalating Sino-American trade tussle.
To beef up the amount of FDI arriving here amid the trade dispute, the ministry has said it will expand cash incentives for companies making investment in the parts, materials and equipment sectors.
South Korea will also simplify the process for foreign companies to win construction permits for factories, according to the ministry.