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Four U.S. companies pledge $1.2 bln investments in Korea 2023-11-20

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on November 19 that four U.S.-based companies pledged a total of USD 1.2 billion (KRW 1.5 trillion) in investment in Korea during President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to San Francisco to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

The investment of four companies, namely GM, DuPont, IMC and Ecolab, are expected to have the effect equivalent to a 4.5 trillion won annual increase in export value or import substitution.

During talks with President Yoon on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit 2023 on November 15, GM International President Shilpan Amin stated that the global company’s confidence in business management in Korea has heightened thanks to the drastic regulatory reform and system improvement in accordance with global standards, and added that the plan is to keep expanding production in Korea based on the partnership spanning the last two decades. GM’s investment is significant in that it is one of the tangible outcomes of the Korean government’s recent regulatory reform measures and investment environment improvement efforts.

Dupont has decided to invest over 200 billion won in building a semiconductor parts and materials production plant and R&D center, including plans of hiring at least 100 new recruits, in line with the Korean government’s plan to nurture the world’s largest semiconductor cluster. The amount is double the investment pledged during President Yoon’s state visit to the U.S. in September 2022, indicating that the Korean production base will be developed as one of Dupont’s core production and R&D hubs outside of the U.S.

IMC is a subsidiary of the multinational holding company Berkshire Hathaway, and plans to make investments in the construction of a plant for producing tungsten oxide, a material used for processing semiconductors and high-strength tools. The plant will be the company’s sixth investment project in Korea in the area of materials and parts, recognizing Korea’s position as its Asia-Pacific hub.

Ecolab will be investing in building its very first overseas production facilities for high-purity colloidal silica, which is a material essential for producing CMP slurry, a specialized abrasive liquid used for planarization in the semiconductor industry.

MOTIE Minister Bang Moon Kyu stated that these investments will contribute substantially to strengthening the Korea-U.S. alliance and stabilizing the domestic semiconductor industrial supply chain, and expressed his intent to continue improving the investment environment through the removal of “killer” regulations and providing investment follow-up support.