|Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Eui-sun, fifth from left, and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, sixth from left, shovel with participants at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Korean carmaker's electric vehicle factory, in Bryan County, in this October 2022 file photo. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor|
Seminars held in US state to welcome new Korean neighbors
By Park Jae-hyuk
The U.S. state of Georgia has emerged as one of the most preferable destinations for Korean manufacturers, as the southeastern state has not only offered handsome tax incentives but also paid respect to Korean culture.
Earlier this month, several seminars were held in the state's Bryan County for its locals to welcome the family members of hundreds of Koreans who will be employed in Hyundai Motor Group's factories soon to open there. The residents learned to appreciate Korea's history, culture and people, according to local news outlets.
In particular, they were warned against asking their Korean neighbors which Korea they are from. The locals were also advised to avoid attempts at humor and the use of idioms.
Their instructor even told them that red should go on top when they display the Korean flag.
Recently, the state's lawmakers also passed a resolution declaring the state's observance of Korean American Day, saying that over $14.5 billion in investments from more than 130 Korean companies have consolidated ties between Korea and Georgia.
In addition, the state's Korean-American lawmakers are pushing ahead with designating Oct. 21 as the Day of Hanbok following the state's designation of Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day.
|Inside one of SK On's electric vehicle battery plants in Commerce, Georgia / Courtesy of SK|
Amid the hospitality, SK On decided to invest $19 million to open an IT center in the state, which will create 200 high-tech jobs, according to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Friday. The governor announced last month that the Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery maker and Hyundai Motor Group selected a site in the state's Bartow County for their new EV battery manufacturing facility.
Doosan Bobcat also said on Friday that it opened a new parts distribution center in Georgia's capital of Atlanta.
In addition, SKC plans to increase the production of glass-based substrates for semiconductor chips at its Covington factory in the state. Hanwha Solutions' Q Cells Division announced this month that it will expand the production capacity of its Georgia solar module plant, to build a "solar hub" there, prompting U.S. President Joe Biden to hail the Korean firm's investment plan.
Hyundai Motor also seeks to build an EV factory in Georgia earlier than initially planned, as part of efforts to comply with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.