New foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged to South Korea surged over 30 percent from a year earlier to a record high in 2014, with the amount that has arrived also climbing to a new high, the government said Monday.

The new FDI committed to the country came to US$19 billion last year, up 30.6 percent from 2013, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The 2014 figure also marked a 16.6 percent spike from the previous record of $16.29 billion in 2012.

"Posting a record amount of FDI despite an economic slowdown in Europe and many other difficulties confronting the global economy confirms foreign investors' confidence in the South Korean economy while also reflecting the achievements and potentials of the country's global leading companies," the ministry said in a press release.

New pledges in the service sector rose 13.6 percent on-year to $11.19 billion in 2014, with those in the manufacturing sector spiking 64.6 percent to $7.65 billion.

By country, FDI commitments from European Union nations surged 35.4 percent on-year to $6.5 billion, while new investment pledges from China jumped 147.2 percent to $1.19 billion.

Those from Japan dropped 7.5 percent on-year to $2.49 billion.

The amount of new FDI that has arrived also reached a new high of $11.52 billion last year, up 17.1 percent from the previous year.

The ministry said FDI in 2015 will likely top $20 billion, partly on additional liberalization of the country's investment market under its free trade agreements (FTAs).

South Korea implemented its bilateral FTA with Canada at the beginning of the year. It is also expected to enact its FTA with China before the year's end. 

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