S. Korea to invest 6 tln won in high-tech materials

Jul 04, 2019, 09:15 am

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DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan speaks during a three-way consultation session of the ruling Democratic Party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae held at the National Assembly on July 3, 2019./ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporters Joo Sung-sik & Lim Yoo-jin

In response to Japan’s abrupt announcement earlier this week that it will tighten rules on exports of high-tech materials used in semiconductor production, South Korea has decided to invest 6 trillion won (US$5.12 billion) in the development of high-tech materials. The South Korean government, the ruling Democratic Party and Cheong Wa Dae agreed Wednesday to accelerate the localization of material sector by funding 1 trillion won every year in related industries. 

The ruling Democratic Party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae held a three-way consultation session at the National Assembly to discuss ways to foster the country’s materials industry, with Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan, and Cheong Wa Dae’s Chief Policy Secretary Kim Sang-jo in attendance.

During the session, the three parties vowed to invest 1 trillion won every year in the development of semiconductor materials, parts and equipment. “The government is pushing for an intensive investment worth 1 trillion won each year in developing semiconductor materials, parts and equipment and is conducting a preliminary feasibility study,” Cho Jung-sik, chief of the policy committee of the Democratic Party, said. “The government plans to take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen its competitiveness by developing key materials, parts and equipment for the semiconductor industry. It has been preparing the measures since several months before.”

“We will announce details of the plan this month. We are examining the situation at a pan-governmental level and closely discussing countermeasures,” Cho added. 

Ahead of the session, Trade minister Sung Yun-mo attended a joint briefing session on the economic policy direction in the second half of this year, and said, “The government will spend 1 trillion won every year in the related sector to develop key materials and parts, diversify imports, and improve competitiveness of local production.”

Last month, the government announced the so-called “manufacturing renaissance” vision to make the country become the world’s fourth-largest manufacturing powerhouse by 2030. Under the vision, the government was planning to invest 1 trillion won every year in developing 100 core technologies to foster high-tech materials, components, and equipment industries. 

According to the industry ministry, the project involving 1 trillion won investment in semiconductor materials, parts, and equipment over 10 years from 2020 has already passed the preliminary study, while the project involving 5 trillion won investment in general materials, parts, and equipment over six years from 2021 is under review. 

“As such investment plans need to undergo preliminary study, the government revealed that it will inject 1 trillion won every year in developing key technologies such as semiconductor materials. If the project involving investment in general materials, parts, and equipment passes the preliminary study, a total of 6 trillion won would be invested as mentioned in the three-way meeting of the ruling party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae,” a ministry official said. 

#semiconductor #materials #investment #manufacturing renaissance 
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