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Overseas direct investment logs 1st fall in 6 years in 2020 amid pandemic

All News 15:12 March 15, 2021

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's overseas direct investment declined for the first time in six years last year as the pandemic dealt a blow to global investment, data showed Monday.

The value of investments made by South Korean companies reached US$54.9 billion last year, down 14.6 percent from the previous year, according to the data by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

It marked the first yearly decline since 2014 and also represented the largest on-year fall since 2002, the ministry said.

South Korea's net overseas direct investment, or total investments minus withdrawals, fell 19.6 percent on-year to $40.9 billion, the data showed.

The ministry said the decline in overseas direct investment was mainly attributable to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By sector, the country's overseas investment in financial and insurance sectors sank 31.3 percent on-year to $17.5 billion. Local firms' overseas investment in the manufacturing sector also fell 31.2 percent to $12.9 billion.

By country, South Korea's direct investment in the United States fell 4.2 percent on-year to $14.7 billion and that in China sank 27.9 percent to $4.19 billion.

In the fourth quarter, the country's overseas direct investment rose 0.2 percent on-year to $17.4 billion, the first quarterly gain in one year.

Its net overseas direct investment grew 19 percent on-year to $13.8 billion, the data showed.

The ministry said the fourth-quarter recovery in the investment was driven by the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts.

Overseas direct investment logs 1st fall in 6 years in 2020 amid pandemic - 1

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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