The Korea Herald


Conglomerates to invest 37 tril. won in biotech, batteries

By 김지현

Published : Sept. 12, 2013 - 21:26

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South Korea's top 10 conglomerates will invest 37 trillion won ($34 billion) in biotech industry, electric-vehicle batteries, medical robots and other high-tech
businesses, the country's most powerful business lobby said Thursday.

The move came amid the growing interest in these fields that are considered as engines of future growth for many in the local corporate sector. 

The Federation of Korean Industries, which speaks for the country's large businesses, made the announcement after a regular meeting of its top officials at a Seoul hotel.

The FKI said last week that other high-tech businesses include the development of major components of electric cars and unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

South Korea offers subsidies worth up to 23 million won to those who buy electric vehicles to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions largely responsible for climate change.

The FKI said some of the conglomerates have already embarked on those projects, though it did not identify specific companies. It also said chaebol will increase the hiring of new employees in the second half, though it did not elaborate.

These conglomerates include Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest carmaker.
This latest move appeared to be in line with the government's efforts to revitalize the country's slumping economy and create more jobs.

South Korea's jobless rate stood at 3 percent in August, down from 3.1 percent in July, according to government data.
By Kim Ji-hyun and news reports