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North American firms make investment commitments to Korea

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President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks at a ceremony in New York on Thursday, which was designed to celebrate investment plans by companies in North America. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]
Seven tech and chemical companies from the U.S. and Canada will invest a combined $1.15 billion in research and production facilities in Korea, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy on Friday.

The ministry said that the companies including Applied Materials, DuPont, Solid Energy System and Northland Power submitted an investment application to the Ministry on Thursday, which the ministry hopes will strengthen Korea’s supply chains of key items and boost bilateral economic ties.

The pledges were made during a ceremony in New York attended by President Yoon Suk-yeol, senior officials from the Seoul government and representatives of the companies.

Applied Materials, the world’s largest semiconductor equipment maker in terms of sales, and two chip materials suppliers – DuPont and Entegris – plan to build research and development centers here, the ministry said.

Auto parts manufacturer BorgWarner also decided to establish a R&D center in Korea for EV and hybrid cars, and battery maker Solid Energy System will set up a research center for the development of next-generation EV batteries as well as production facilities, according to the ministry.

Canadian power firm Northland Power plans to build an offshore wind power generation complex in Korea’s southern region, and the U.S.-based EMP Belstar will establish an eco-friendly logistics center here, the ministry said.
“The investment pledges are significant as they are linked to the government’s policy goals of strengthening supply chains and achieving carbon neutrality goals,” Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang said during the ceremony.
“We will offer more incentives for foreign investment from advanced industries and reform rules or other regulations that fail to meet international standards,” he added.

Companies with some interest in future investment in Korea also attended the Thursday event, the ministry said, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Boeing.

During the first six months of this year, Korea received $11.09 billion worth of foreign direct investment commitments, according to government data.

BY PARK EUN-JEE, YONHAP [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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