Five areas designated for parts and materials clusters
The government designated five areas as industrial clusters specializing in parts and materials development.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, the five regions that have been selected are: Yongin in Gyeonggi, which will be a special cluster for semiconductors; Cheongju, North Chungcheong, specializing in fuel cells; Cheonan, South Chungcheong, specializing in displays; Jeonju, North Jeolla, focusing on carbon materials; and Changwon, South Gyeongsang, specializing in precision machinery.
The anchor companies leading the clusters are SK hynix in Yongin, LG Energy Solution in North Chungcheong, Samsung Display in South Chungcheong, and Hyosung Advanced Materials in North Jeolla. In South Gyeongsang, there are three anchor companies: Doosan Machine Tools, Hyundai Wia and Hwacheon.
These companies will be working with smaller regional companies as well as local universities such KAIST in Daejeon in developing parts as well as materials that will be key to future growth engine products.
The companies will also work on expanding export markets with help from the state-owned Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra).
The government’s plan comes amid the tensions between Korea and Japan since 2019.
As retaliation for a Korean court’s ruling against the Japanese companies on forced labor during the occupation period, the Japanese government restricted the export of key materials used in the marking of semiconductors and displays.
These actions forced the Korean companies to reduce dependency on key parts and materials from Japan.
Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic showed the risks of the global value-chain and materials.
“The key to future innovation amid the rapid changes in the industrial paradigm from the rearrangement of the global supply network, climate changes and digital transition is securing the value-chain,” Minister Sung Yun-mo said Tuesday. “And this starts with the specialized clusters for parts and materials.”
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]