WELLINGTON, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The value of New Zealand's overseas direct investment (ODI) in Southeast Asia more than tripled from 700 million NZ dollars (578.99 million U.S. dollars) in 2008 to last year's 2.2 billion NZ dollars, the government statistics agency announced Thursday.
About half of New Zealand's total ODI of 24.3 billion NZ dollars was held in Australia at the end of March last year, according to Statistics New Zealand.
"New Zealand's ODI in Southeast Asia has caught up with our ODI in Europe, which has fallen in recent years," balance of payments manager John Morris said in a statement.
The Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended March 2012 document also showed two thirds of the 97.3 billion NZ dollars total foreign direct investment (FDI) coming into New Zealand was from Australia, mainly through major banks, and the United States.
The next largest sources of FDI into New Zealand were the Netherlands, Japan, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Since 2008, the value of FDI in New Zealand from the European Union had fallen by 2.6 billion NZ dollars to 7.6 billion NZ dollars, which mainly represented a fall in the value of borrowing by New Zealand companies from their overseas parents, said the statement.
Meanwhile, FDI from Southeast Asia has risen by 1 billion NZ dollars since March 2010 to 2.9 billion NZ dollars, mainly due to an increase in the value of Singapore-owned companies in New Zealand.
Overall, New Zealand had 304.1 billion NZ dollars of overseas liabilities and held 158.5 billion NZ dollars of assets overseas.
Most of New Zealand's overseas liabilities and assets were held in the same three countries: Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.