S Korean companies invest record amount in Africa and Middle East

16:36, December 29, 2009      

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South Korean businesses have made a record amount of direct investments in the Africa and Middle East regions this year despite the global economic downturn, local media reported Tuesday.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea said in a release that in the period between January and September this year South Korean companies made a total direct investment of 346.37 million U.S dollars in African countries, mainly exploiting its massive natural resources, and a 195.19 million-U.S. dollar investment in the Middle East region.

The figure marks a 49.1 percent spike with a 114.13 million U.S dollar increase in Africa and a 27.6 percent rise amounting to 42.24 million U.S. dollars in the Middle East.

"Local businesses are increasingly investing in Africa and the Middle East to capitalize on their natural resources and this trend will continue to rise," an unnamed bank official was quoted as saying by news agency Yonhap.

However, the aggregate amount of all direct foreign investments made by South Korean companies significantly dropped from the previous year to approximately 9.99 billion U.S dollars, a 43.5 percent decrease from the previous year's 17.71 billion U.S. dollars.

Other regions have all seen a cutback in the South Korean companies' foreign investment, most notably Oceania, Asia, and Latin America with a 58.6 percent, 54.8 percent, and 53.3 percent contraction respectively.

Source: Xinhua
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