NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite continuing difficult economic times, the Netherlands remains a powerful magnet for worldwide foreign direct investment (FDI), posting impressive results for 2012. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) supported the attraction of 170 foreign investment projects, representing 5,166 jobs and planned investment of $1.248 billion. While more than half of the projects originated in Asia, North America recorded 36 percent of the total. The United States maintains its top spot as the leading single-country investor overall with 58 projects, a healthy increase over the previous year's sum of 46. China posted 31 projects, Korea 19, Japan 4 and Taiwan 10 to round out the top five. Forty-one of United States' 58 projects were initial investments into the Netherlands. Adding in three projects from Canada and one from Mexico, the North American totals are: 62 projects; 2,435 jobs; and $495.1 million investment. All three of these figures represent substantial boosts from 2011. " The Netherlands succeeded in attracting many high quality projects in the past year which resulted in the establishment of European headquarters operations, research and development activities, and strategic manufacturing," said NFIA Commissioner Bas Pulles. "The share of high quality projects increased for the fifth consecutive year to 49 percent in number of projects and even to 70 percent in number of jobs." In the US, a total of 17 European headquarters projects edged out the number attributed to marketing and sales activity (16). Similar to the last several years, the ICT sector led the way with the most projects (14), followed by Life Sciences and Health (8).