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Seoul's FDI hits all-time high last year

All News 15:04 January 05, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Seoul hit a new record high last year, helped by the capital city's aggressive efforts to attract investment from abroad, a city official said Thursday.

As of the end of last year, the FDI amount that arrived in Seoul reached US$9.55 billion, up 12.1 percent from the previous record of $8.52 billion in 2014, Suh Deung-rok, the head of the city's economic promotion headquarters, said. The figure accounted for 45 percent of $21.3 billion in total FDI that came into the country last year, he added.

Notable is that green field investment in Seoul surged 36.5 percent to $5.5 billion, according to Suh. A green field investment refers to an FDI form where a parent company builds its operations in a foreign country from the ground up.

Europe was the biggest investor in Seoul with $4.3 billion in 2016, up 161 percent on-year. An Irish investor poured $250 million into a cosmetic company, and a Dutch investor pumped $110 million into a mobile game maker. Spain's Ponte Gadea, a real estate investment firm for global fashion giant Zara's founder Amancio Ortega, set up a firm in Seoul by investing $210 million.

A U.S. investor injected $500 million into a mobile app maker.

The city also held investor relations sessions in China and the United States to attract investment especially for promising start-ups here.

"We'll endeavor to induce more foreign investment this year by activating start-ups and creating bio- and R&D centers," Suh said.

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