Mexico attracts record FDI from South Korea

Mexico attracted a record amount of FDI from South Korea in the first quarter of 2024, with 640.6 million dollars.

The previous all-time high in this indicator for a quarter occurred in the first quarter of 2016, when the country received 574.5 million dollars, according to data from the Ministry of Economy.

South Korea’s GDP per capita (in terms of purchasing power parity) is approximately the same as that of the European Union, and South Korea is the fifth easiest country in the world to do business in, according to the World Bank. 

The South Korean economy has been heavily industry-oriented, with emphasis on sectors such as:

  • Automotive.
  • Electronics. 
  • Shipbuilding.
  • Information Technology.
  • Machinery and Equipment.
  • Chemicals.
  • Steel.
  • Metallurgy


Leading South Korean companies include Samsung Electronics, POSCO, Hyundai Motor Company, LG Electronics, SK Hynix, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Hanwha Group.

According to The Advisors’ Inner Circle Fund II, South Korea ranks higher than the United States in educational attainment and life expectancy and has a lower poverty rate and a lower budget deficit as a percentage of GDP. 

One of the main reasons MSCI continues to classify South Korea as emerging is that the market is difficult for foreigners to access. However, the country appears to be taking steps to address these issues. 

MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) is a global financial services company that provides stock market indexes and investment-related data analysis.

Productive investments 

Considering full years, Mexico captured US$687.3 million of FDI from South Korea in 2022 and US$504.4 million in 2023.

South Korea has experienced significant growth in its FDI issuance in recent decades as its companies seek to expand their global presence, access new markets and technologies, and diversify their operations.

In the last decade, the year that Mexico recorded the most FDI arrivals from the South Korean economy was in 2016, with 1.117 billion dollars.

FDI, or Foreign Direct Investment, is the capital investment made by an entity or individual from one country in business activities or assets in another country, with the intention of establishing a long-term relationship and gaining some degree of control or influence over the recipient company.