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Inbound investments from the European Union (EU) to South Korea surged 60.5
percent after the free trade pact went into effect last year, a government
report showed Wednesday.
The finance ministry report tallied for the last three quarters showed foreign direct investment (FDI) from Europe reaching US$3.56 billion from July of last year through the end of March. In the same period, overall FDI that arrived in the country contracted 0.8 percent on-year to $10.65 billion.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the EU went into effect in July.
"The FTA played a role in bolstering investments with triple digit gains being tallied for the manufacturing sector as a whole," the ministry said.
The latest report showed EU investments in South Korea's service sector reached little over $1.9 billion in the same period, up 37.4 percent on-year.
The ministry, meanwhile, said that investment by South Korean businesses in the EU reached $3.66 billion, a minus growth of 34.1 percent from the year before.
The contraction, however, includes money invested in the mining sector, and if this is excluded, outbound FDI jumped 65.3 percent on-year, which is far greater than the 6.3 percent increase tallied for the entire country during the three quarter period.