South Korea

South Korea launches $7bn fund to boost chip industry


South Korea has announced plans to invest $70 billion in a semiconductor “mega cluster” outside of Seoul to boost the chip manufacturing industry.


The package, which targets chip suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and fabless companies along the semiconductor supply chain, will soon be made public, according to a statement from Finance Minister, Choi Sang-mok, on Sunday.

Indications are that the action was taken as supply networks become more complex due to the US-China rivalry.

This move comes after it promised last year to use $240 billion in private investment—mainly from Samsung Electronics, the biggest memory chip manufacturer in the world—to construct the largest chip centre in the world in Yongin, south of Seoul.

Choi informed CEOs of domestic chip equipment companies during a meeting that the programme would involve offers of policy loans and the creation of a new fund funded by state and private financial institutions, according to a statement from the finance ministry.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, two of the biggest memory chip manufacturers in the world, are based in South Korea.

To establish itself as a leader in important markets including semiconductors and biologics, Samsung unveiled in May 2022 an ambitious investment plan worth 450 trillion won over the following five years.

According to data supplied by the commerce ministry, semiconductors, Seoul’s top export, reached $11.7 billion in March—their highest level in nearly two years—and made up a fifth of all exports from the country.

Earlier report stated that the Biden administration is seeking proposals from businesses with the capacity to create and run an organisation that will develop chips “digital twins,” with the possibility of receiving funding of up to $285 million.

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