Trade Surplus Surges

In South KoreaSEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's trade surplus for the first quarter of 1988 soared by more than 12 percent to $1.47 billion, compared with figures for the same three-month period last year, the Trade and Industry Ministry reported Monday.

Officials said the nation's trade surplus for January-March 1988 rose by $160 million from the $1.29 billion level of last year's first quarter. The figure for March alone stood at $665 million up from $517 million one year ago, they said.

Exports in the first quarter rose by 35 percent from the 1987 first quarter to reach $12.8 billion, while imports jumped up by 38.5 percent to $11.33 billion.

The ministry forecast an overall 1988 trade surplus of $3 billion, with exports totaling $55 billion and imports $52 billion. South Korea's surplus for 1987 reached $6.2 billion.

Japan Urged to Boost

Malaysian Investments

TOKYO - Malaysia's trade and industry minister urged Japanese companies Monday to invest more in her country to help it develop, the Malaysian Embassy said.

The minister, Datin Paduka Rafidah Aziz, spoke at an investment seminar attended by representatives of 410 Japanese companies, mostly manufacturers.

Embassy official Abdul Aziz quoted Ms. Rafidah as saying Malaysia encourages investment into resource-based industries that could effectively use its abundant natural resources.

A strong and viable foundation has already been built for the electronics and electrical industry, and Malaysia welcomes investment into manufacture utilizing high technology, Ms. Rafidah said.