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Four Japanese Firms to Build Factories in Korea for LCD Parts
Dec 30, 2003
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Asahi Glass Co. and three other Japanese manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) components are planning to build plants in South Korea by 2005, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy announced.

The South Korean government has given permission to the four firms to each invest U.S. $20 million to $60 million in manufacturing plants in the Seoul metropolitan area, the Ministry said.

The Japanese companies are to supply various LCD parts and components for LG.Philips LCD's new LCD manufacturing plant, which will be built in Paju on the northern outskirts of Seoul by the end of 2005, it noted. The Ministry wound not identify the three investors besides Asahi.

The approval for construction of the plants was issued as part of the government's deregulatory measures for Korean and foreign high-tech manufacturers aspiring to set up or expand facilities in the Seoul metropolitan area. Under a policy revised through inter-ministerial consultations, foreign-invested high-tech companies will be allowed to freely build or expand plant facilities in Seoul and neighboring areas for another year.

The Ministry recently announced it will create a 1.65-million-sq-m park for foreign and domestic LCD parts makers next to the equally sized LCD plant of LG.Philips LCD scheduled to be built in Paju.

"The LCD-parts complex to be built near the LG.Philips LCD plant will be designed to accommodate about 30 LCD component producers. Thus, the LCD parts manufacturing park could lead to the birth of a huge, 3.3-million-square-meter LCD park," a Ministry official said.

LG.Philips LCD, a flat screen joint venture between LG Group and Dutch group Philips NV, is to start construction of the world's largest LCD plant in June 2004, with completion slated for the end of 2005. LG.Philips LCD's $10 billion plant is expected to employ about 5,000 workers and generate about 3 trillion won in annual revenues.

The Ministry also said Samsung Electronics Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co. will be allowed to expand their manufacturing facilities south of Seoul, starting next year, following the parliamentary approval of a related deregulatory bill Monday. The bill calls for allowing high-tech manufacturers in 14 sectors, including computers, semiconductors, LCDs, aerospace, automobiles, and electronics parts, to expand existing plants in the capital area by 100 percent.

Samsung is to invest 50 trillion won (approx. U.S. $ 41.8 billion) over the next decade to expand its sprawling semiconductor park in Hwaseong, about 50 km south of Seoul, while Ssangyong will spend 1.8 trillion won (approx. $1.5 billion) by 2007 to build additional assembly lines at its existing plant in Pyeongtaek, about 70 km south of Seoul. (Yonhap, Asia Pulse)

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