Statistics compiled by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency showed that direct Korean investment into China in 2001 totalled US$2.15bn, 44 per cent more than in the previous year, said the Korean Herald. This put Korea in fifth place behind Hong Kong, the US, Japan and Taiwan in terms of investment, while the rate of growth was the second highest after Japan’s. Korean investment in China declined for three consecutive years between 1997 and 1999, noted the agency, but started rising again in 2000 with a 17.3 per cent increase.
A study by the Korean International Trade Association showed that around 5,000 Korean manufacturers have invested in China. These manufacturers employ 919,000 local workers and generate more than US$10bn in third-country exports, so contributing to China’s overall trade surplus.