The Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy says that Minister Paik Un-gyu hosted a roundtable meeting with Chinese investors in Beijing on Tuesday.

It it the first such meeting to attract Chinese investment held by a South Korean minister-level official since April 2016.

Twelve Chinese firms attended the roundtable session, including chip firm JCET(Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology), bio company Evercare, Beijing Automotive Group and Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communication Group, a leader in contents and advertising.

The trade ministry said that 500 million dollars in Chinese investment was secured during the meeting in various fields of autos, consumer goods, food, bio, robots and renewable energy.

The ministry will thoroughly manage the project so the pledged investments can be realized at an early date. It also aims to achieve the goal of attracting 20 billion dollars in foreign investment for the fourth straight year.

Investment from China fell more than 60 percent last year to record about 810 million dollars due to China’s retaliation over South Korea’s deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system.

Stronger regulation against overseas investment by the Beijing government was another reason for the drop.

However, this year, over one billion dollars in Chinese investment pledges have been reported in the first quarter alone.