Samsung to invest 450 trillion to cement lead in chip, bio sectors

Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Chairman Chey Tae-won, fourth from left in front row, and Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, fifth from left in front row, and CEOs of leading Korean firms raise their fists during a ceremony to mark the declaration of the new entrepreneurial spirit at the KCCI building in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of KCCI

By Lee Kyung-min

Samsung Electronics will invest 450 trillion won ($355 billion) in the high-tech manufacturing of semiconductors, bio sectors and advanced telecommunications over the next five years, the company said Tuesday. This is the single largest domestic investment the chip giant has made so far.

The amount is up 120 trillion won from 330 trillion won spent over the past five years. Eighty percent of the total will be locally invested, creating 80,000 jobs.

"The funds will help the global leader in memory chip manufacturing cement itself as a semiconductor powerhouse," a Samsung official said.

The investment decision by the tech giant coincided with similar announcements by other major conglomerates in addition to a collective move to strengthen their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Hyundai Motor, Kia and Hyundai Mobis said they will invest a combined 63 trillion won in Korea over the next four years to strengthen electricity and eco-friendly technologies to bolster business competitiveness.

"The plan, together with investments in Hyundai's auto parts, steel and construction businesses, will lead to a significant increase in mid- to long-term investment in Korea," a Hyundai official said. .

Lotte Group said it will invest 37 trillion won over the next five years to fortify its chemicals, food and infrastructure businesses, in line with a new growth vision of enhanced health and well-being. Facility investments will be increased to revitalize the retail, logistics and tourism industries, hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SK hynix plans to invest 120 trillion won to build four semiconductor plants in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. SK Group is also expected to fortify its bioscience businesses.

Meanwhile, a consultative body representing 76 local firms was launched Tuesday to enrich and advance discussions on the entrepreneurial spirit, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said.

The entity, Entrepreneurship Round Table, is joined by manufacturing powerhouses such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and LG Corp. as well as tech startups including Woowa Brothers and Market Kurly.

Over 40 CEOs, including KCCI Chairman Chey Tae-won, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun and Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, attended a ceremony held at the KCCI building in Seoul to reaffirm their commitment to creating jobs and sustainable values through innovation and growth.

Other goals include enhancing ethical values through respect for stakeholders, creating a corporate culture whereby employees share a rewarding experience and growth, practicing green management and mutual growth.

"We should play a new role to weather the new crises and challenges including digital transformation, climate change and rapid population decline," Chey said during a speech. "The slew of emerging challenges should be countered by our joint and committed efforts to creating a sustainable community with public trust."

The leaders said the declaration will be followed by a set of rules to promptly put the new values into practice.

Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Chairman Chey Tae-won, center, enters a meeting room with Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, left, and Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, right, at the KCCI building in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of KCCI

Among examples are establishing a culture where employees are free to leave work on time regardless of whether the work of their superiors or colleagues are completed. Also on the list are reducing the use of plastics and expanding job opportunities for young people.

Lee Kyung-min

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