Hyundai Motor Group, the world's No.5 automaker, said on Wednesday it would invest $3.3 billion in green projects to meet the government's stricter fuel efficiency and emission requirements, joining a recent series of eco-friendly investments by South Korean firms.

Hyundai, which includes the country's two largest car makers -- Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp -- plans to spend 4.1 trillion won ($3.28 billion) to develop environmentally friendly cars and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2013, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Of the total, 2.2 trillion won will go to developing hybrid cars and 1.4 trillion won to improving the fuel efficiency of engines. The remainder will be spent on energy facilities to cut emissions. Hyundai's announcement came after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd earlier this week unveiled a plan to invest 5.4 trillion won in green research and development and facilities.

Over the next five years South Korea will invest 107 trillion won, or 2 percent of its annual gross domestic product (GDP), in environment-related sectors, the government said in early July.

As part of the plans the government said it would require automakers to follow fuel efficiency and green gas emission rules above U.S. standards.

The government also said separately it would raise 2 trillion won for green industries from the private sector.

HSBC estimates that of Asian government's stimulus packages in response to the recent credit crunch, spending on green-related investments will account for 20 percent, or $272 billion, more than double the amount earmarked for green projects in the Americas and five times bigger than Europe's.

($1=1251.3 Won)