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Monday, April 15, 2024

Korea eyes stronger ties with U.S. in chip industry

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Finance minister at meeting on trade
Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho attends an economic ministers’ meeting held through a video teleconference on Monday. [YONHAP]

The government will take follow-up measures to make full use of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s recent visit to the United States and solidify the chip alliance, said Korea’s finance minister Monday.

“The recent state visit has built the ground for establishing a firm cutting-edge technology and cultural alliance,” Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a meeting with economy-related ministers.

The finance minister added the government will spare no efforts to “visualize” the outcome of the state visit.

Korea and the United States agreed to cooperate in the fields of next-generation semiconductors, as well as global supply chains, during Yoon’s state visit to Washington.

“Focusing on the three key areas of the semiconductor industry, including next-generation chips, Korea will seek joint projects, as well as a cooperative forum between the government and the private sector, building the ground for the world’s leading chip alliance,” Choo said.

The key segments also include cutting-edge packaging technology, as well as the “material, part, and equipment” industry.

Korea will also seek close consultations with the United States for mutual benefits and improve predictability in the chip sector, concerning Washington’s Inflation Reduction Act and the Chips and Science Act.

Choo, meanwhile, noted that external uncertainties, including global inflation, monetary tightening moves and challenges in the U.S. banking sector continue to weigh down Asia’s No. 4 economy.

“While inflation in the Korean economy is slowing, with domestic consumption also recovering gradually, challenges linger in exports and investment,” Choo said.

To this end, the finance minister said the government will make efforts to reflect its interests in the global supply chain issues during the third round of negotiations for the United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to be held in Singapore this week.

The government will also support local companies seeking to win overseas construction, plant, nuclear reactor and green projects, Choo said.

“Korea will further develop government-to-government cooperation to win initial and follow-up orders at major projects, including Saudi Arabia’s Neom and Indonesia’s relocation of its capital,” the minister said.

The country will also establish 10 “innovative special zones” throughout the nation by 2027, which will lift regulations significantly in line with global standards, Choo said.

BY SOHN DONG-JOO, YONHAP [sohn.dongjoo@joongang.co.kr]