SEOUL, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea posted a double-digit decline in the first quarter on global economic slowdown, a government report showed Thursday.
Direct investment made by foreigners into the country totaled 3.17 billion U.S. dollars in the January-March quarter, down 35.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The double-digit reduction came amid the global economic slump that weakened investment sentiment.
The tax benefit for foreign investors, which lasted as long as seven years, ended last year, contributing to the sharp fall in the FDI.
Despite the downturn, foreigners expanded direct investment in local startups focusing on new promising industries such as secondary battery and the next-generation telecommunication technology, the ministry noted.
Direct investment by European Union (EU) investors plunged 47.3 percent from a year earlier to 990 million dollars in the first quarter, with those by Japanese and U.S. investors dropping 31 percent and 78.7 percent respectively.
The FDI by Chinese investors went down 88 percent to 130 million dollars in the cited period.
By type, greenfield investment, which build factories and create jobs, declined 39.1 percent to 2.16 billion dollars in the quarter, while the merger and acquisition investment slipped 26.8 percent to 1.01 billion dollars.