SEOUL, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s overseas direct investment hit a record high last year as the global economy recovered from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Wednesday.
The value of investments made by South Korean companies reached US$75.87 billion last year, up 32.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
It marked the highest since the government compiled related data in 1968.
In the fourth quarter, the country’s overseas direct investment jumped 62.7 percent on-year to an all-time high of $30.21 billion.
“Since the second quarter of last year, the country’s overseas direct investment has expanded as concerns about the pandemic eased amid the vaccine rollout,” the finance ministry said.
South Korea’s net overseas direct investment increased 38.1 percent on-year to a record high of $58.42 billion last year.
By country, the United States was the No. 1 destination for South Korea’s direct investment last year on the back of Korean firms’ investment in the chipmaking and battery fields.
South Korea’s direct investment in the U.S. soared 81.8 percent on-year to $27.59 billion last year.
The country’s investment in China gained 47.8 percent on-year to $6.67 billion, and that in the Cayman Islands rose 57.1 percent to $10.63 billion.
By sector, the country’s overseas investment in the financial and insurance sectors jumped 58.5 percent on-year to $29.32 billion. Local firms’ investment in the manufacturing sector increased 38.5 percent to $18.17 billion.