Korean investment up

NEW DELHI, MAY 8. Korean investment in India had increased substantially during 1999 to $850 million as against $86 million in 1998. This was stated in a background paper prepared by the FICCI and ASSOCHAM for the 16th meeting of the India-Korea Joint Business Council (BJC) to be held here on May 9. It notes that the share of Korean investment in total investment approvals had surged to 12.86 per cent in 1999 from only 1.02 per cent in 1998.

The areas of focus for Korean companies were automobiles, electronics, IT and telecommunication, power, construction, engineering, textiles, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

An analysis of Korean investment in India made by the two chambers reveals that there have been fluctuations in the investment flows. During 1996, investment was around $750 million which dropped to $450 million in 1997 and finally came as low as $86 million in 1998. This sharp fall is attributed to the Asian crisis which had adversely affected the capital investment by South East Asian countries including Korea.

The FICCI-ASSOCHAM analysis says the present raise in the investment, close to $850 million, is indicative of the reversal of the slow down in Korean economy. Taking this into account, Korea has set an investment target of $3 billion for India in coming years.