The Export-Import Bank of Korea announced on November 27 that South Korean companies invested a total of US$10.325 billion in the United States in the first half of this year, up 105.1% from a year ago.
The half-yearly investment exceeded US$10 billion for the first time in H1, 2017. For reference, the amount had been US$5.03 billion in the same period of last year and US$3.08 billion in the same period of 2015. South Korean companies’ investment in the United States is likely to reach a new high this year. The United States accounted for 47% of South Korean companies’ total overseas investment in H1, 2017.
879 South Korean companies in total made investments in the United States during the same period. For example, Samsung Electronics initiated the construction of a manufacturing factory in Newberry County, South Carolina in June this year and washing machine test production started there on November 16.
“These days, an increase in minimum wage, shorter working hours, and bills to raise the corporate tax rate are driving South Korean companies out of their home country while the protectionist trade policy of the Donald Trump administration and its plan to cut the corporate tax rate are attracting them,” the Nomura Research Institute explained.