South Korea will offer various incentives and support to investors that are designed every specific need of foreign investors coming from different countries, the government said Thursday. The move comes as the amount of new foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged in the first seven months of the year came to US$8.35 billion, the highest amount ever for the cited period, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The actual amount of foreign investment made in the January-July period also surged 44 percent from the same period last year to $5.26 billion, prompting the ministry to raise its target for new FDI for the whole of 2012 from $13 billion to $15 billion, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency. The new target, along with government measures to achieve such an ambitious goal, was reported Thursday at a weekly emergency economic meeting chaired by President Lee Myung-bak. “Generally, the investment market is shrinking throughout the world as the global economy faces a difficult moment, but the country’s investment market is showing an upward trend with a record amount of investment partly because of its new free trade agreements (FTAs) that took effect this year,” Vice Minister Cho Seok told a press briefing held Tuesday. From March 15, when the country’s FTA with the United States came into effect, to the end of July, the amount of newly pledged investment by U.S. investors amounted to $1.47 billion, up 71.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the ministry. To attract more investment from the U.S. and the European Union, whose separate FTA with South Korea took effect in 2011, the government will expand its cash support for foreign investors from the current 30 percent to 40 percent of their investment.