Foreign direct investment reached its highest point since the 2008 global financial crisis in the first quarter of this year, despite the generally unfavorable global business climate.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said on Thursday that the reported amount of the FDI stood at US$2.35 billion in the January to March period, up 17 percent on-year.
Japanese investors put more money into Korea after the massive earthquake in Japan and the soaring yen, and EU member states increased investment after the Korea-EU free trade agreement went into effect in July last year.
Japanese businesses invested $919 million, up a whopping 150 percent on-year, and EU firms $584 million, up 34.7 percent. Major foreign materials makers that do business with large Korean conglomerates like Samsung Electronics also increased their investment here.
By contrast, American companies reduced their investment by 8.7 percent to $427 million.