Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea has been steadily increasing, hitting a record high of US$21.3 billion in 2016. The strong growth in FDI has been encouraged by cash assistance and incentives for overseas companies entering the market.
Despite the global economic downturn, South Korea’s sovereign credit rating has been improving over the years. Both Moody’s and Fitch increased South Korea’s sovereign credit rating in 2012 to AA3 and AA- respectively, with Moody’s later raising it to AA2 in 2015. Standard & Poor’s raised it in 2015 and then again in 2016, to the current rating of AA.
With growing affluence among Koreans, a strong wave of consumerism is sweeping through the country, with many international retailers reporting a healthy growth in sales. Singaporean products have also been well-received among Korean consumers.
South Korea’s economy is heavily dependent on international trade and the country is a major exporter of electronics, automobiles and robotics. The country is Singapore’s sixth largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to S$43.6 billion in 2016.