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Samsung commits $356 bn in investments with 80,000 new jobs

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Samsung Electronics' semiconductor factory at Hwaseong. Samsung Group's flagship subsidiary is the world's biggest smartphone maker./AFP
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May 24, 2022 - 07:21 AM

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Samsung Group on Tuesday unveiled a massive 450 trillion won ($356 billion) investment blueprint for the next five years aimed at making it a frontrunner in a wide range of sectors from semiconductors to biologics.

The new figure is an increase of more than a third over its investments spent over the past five years.

The tech giant is South Korea’s largest conglomerate and its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the national gross domestic product.

Samsung Electronics, its flagship subsidiary, is the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

The investment plan would bring “long-term growth in strategic businesses and help strengthen the global industrial ecosystem of crucial technology”, Samsung said in a statement.

The 80,000 new jobs would be created “primarily in core businesses including semiconductors and biopharmaceuticals” through 2026.

It also noted the investment would “bring forward the mass production of chips based on the 3-nanometer process,” the latest technology to further shrink down the size of semiconductors and boost computing power.

It will also invest heavily in biopharmaceuticals with its affiliates Samsung Biologics and Samsung Bioepis in the field.

The new plan represents a 36 percent increase in investment over its total investments over the past five years.

Of the 450 trillion won Samsung plans to spend over the next five years, it will commit 360 trillion won to South Korea.

The announcement comes after US President Joe Biden toured Samsung Electronics’ massive Pyeongtaek semiconductor factory on Friday, underscoring the South Korean giant’s role in securing global supply chains of microchips, on his first Asia trip as US leader.

South Korea and the United States need to work to “keep our supply chains resilient, reliable and secure,” Biden said, calling semiconductors manufactured there as “a wonder of innovation” and crucial to the global economy.

Lee Jae-yong, the firm’s vice-chairman and the de facto leader of the wider Samsung conglomerate, escorted Biden and newly-sworn in South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol inside the assembly line, and introduced the two to an audience in English in his highest-profile public appearance since his release on parole in August.

Lee had spent over half of a two and a half year sentence for bribery, embezzlement and other offences in connection with a corruption scandal that brought down ex-South Korean president Park Geun-hye before his release.

Samsung employs about 20,000 people within the United States and work is underway to build a new semiconductor plant in Texas, scheduled to open in 2024.

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