South Korea unveils $19 billion support package for chip industry

International |  IANS  | Published :

Seoul, May 23 (IANS) South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Thursday that the country will introduce a chip industry support package worth 26 trillion won ($19 billion) to bolster the critical industry amid intensifying global competition.

The comprehensive plan was unveiled during an interagency meeting on economic issues, involving related ministries and financial regulators.

The package includes financial programmes, research and development (R&D) initiatives and infrastructure support for chip manufacturers, material suppliers and fabless companies specialising in chip design, reports Yonhap news agency.

Central to this support package is the creation of a financial support program worth 17 trillion won dedicated to infrastructure investment at the state-run Korea Development Bank.

A 1 trillion-won chip industry fund will be created to assist fabless and chip material companies and R&D infrastructure will be built for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Yoon said the support package is designed to benefit the entire semiconductor supply chain, with a particular focus on SMEs.

"If companies expand investment and earn more profits through tax support, the public will benefit from more quality jobs, thereby revitalising the economy and increasing tax revenue," Yoon said during the meeting held at the presidential office.

To bolster the country's position in the semiconductor industry, Yoon also called for the related ministries to come up with measures to support system semiconductors and foundry businesses to help them close the gap with global leaders.

Samsung Electronics and SK hynix lead the world in memory chip production, but their market share in the foundry business, where companies manufacture chips designed by others, lags behind Taiwan's TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker.

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