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FDI in Korean Free Economic Zones in 2021 highest in three years Updated: 2022-01-04 17:01:36 KST

South Korea's free economic zones in 2021 saw the highest level of foreign direct investment in three years.
The Korean Free Economic Zones are specially designated areas, aimed at improving the business and living environment for foreign-invested firms in Korea.
There are a total of nine free economic zones in the country, including the two that were added in 2020.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, some 1.3 billion U.S. dollars of FDI was reported last year,. up 42 percent from the previous year.
By type, 98% of the total investment was made in a form of greenfield investments, meaning most of the companies chose to newly start their operations in South Korea, instead of buying the stocks or bonds in an existing company.

"The greenfield investment allows companies to build their own factories and facilities which could create more jobs and also, it makes it more difficult to pull out their investment compared to buying stocks."

The most popular sector was services, jumping more than 64 percent on-year to post around 800 million U.S. dollars.
That included resorts, storage, and research and development.
The manufacturing sector also saw an increase of almost 20 percent, coming to around half a billion dollars.
The European Union accounted for more than 40 percent of the total FDI, actively investing in the medical and resorts sectors.
The Greater China Region was next, followed by North America, which mainly invested in the medical sector and rechargeable batteries.
Praising the recent improvement in performance, the Trade Ministry pledged for further support to extend the growth trend.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News.
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