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South Korea Announces $19 Billion Boost for Semiconductor Industry

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South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol revealed a historic 26 trillion won ($19 billion) support package aimed at bolstering the nation’s semiconductor sector, underscoring the industry’s critical role in the economy.

The substantial investment, facilitated by the state-run Korea Development Bank, will enhance infrastructure, research and development, and offer tax incentives. The government anticipates that these measures will strengthen domestic companies’ positions in the competitive global chip market.

President Yoon emphasized the strategic importance of semiconductors, likening the competition to “all-out national warfare.” He noted that the country’s success hinges on its ability to produce advanced semiconductors and highlighted the current lag in global market share held by South Korea’s fabless firms and the significant gap between local foundries and global leaders.

This new commitment surpasses the 9.4 trillion won ($6.94 billion) package announced last month, aimed at advancing AI and semiconductor technology by 2027. Combined, these investments are part of a broader strategy to position South Korea among the top three global players in AI and to secure a 10% global market share in system semiconductors by 2030.

Further amplifying its semiconductor production ambitions, South Korea announced in January plans to develop a new semiconductor production cluster near Seoul. This massive project, involving investments totaling 622 trillion won ($472 billion) from major companies like Samsung and SK Hynix, aims to be completed by 2047. These companies currently dominate the global memory chip market, accounting for 60% of worldwide production and sales. The government projects that these investments will create 3 million jobs, significantly boosting the national economy.

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