The US direct investment in Asia’s fourth-largest economy amounted to $33.9 billion in 2016, down one per cent from 2015, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK) quoted by Yonhap news agency.
This is the first time this figure has decreased since the 2008 financial crisis, when US investment plunged by 8.1 per cent.
Foreign investment in South Korea increased overall by 2.3 per cent year-on-year to $961.3 billion.
The BOK also published data on South Korean investment abroad (excluding its foreign reserves), which stood at $868.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 11.9 per cent year-on-year, Efe news reported.
South Korea’s investment in the US rose to $244.8 billion in 2016, or an increase of 23.2 per cent compared to 2015, according to the data.
The European Union was South Korea’s second largest investment destination, with $139.1 billion, followed by Southeast Asia, with $137.6 billion, and China, with $123.6 billion.