Korean Electronics Firms to Sharply Increase R&D Spending
Feb 3, 2004
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South Korea's leading electronics companies are planning to drastically increase their spending on research and development activities this year, with investments focused on semiconductors and flat-screen panels, according to industry sources.

Samsung Electronics Co. has decided to jack up its R&D spending by 14.7 percent to 3.9 trillion won (approx. U.S. $3.3 billion) this year, according to company officials. The R&D spending target would account for 8.5 percent of Samsung's estimated annual sales of 46.34 trillion won. Last year, R&D investment accounted for 8.1 percent of Samsung's yearly sales in 2003.

"Nearly half of this year's planned R&D spending will go to the liquid crystal display panel business," a Samsung spokesman said.

LG Group also said its electronics affiliates, including LG Electronics Inc., LG.Philips LCD, and LG Telecom will expand their R&D spending by 21 percent to 2.3 trillion won in 2004. The figure would account for 88 percent of the group's aggregate R&D budget of 2.6 trillion won.

About 70 percent, or 1.6 trillion won, of LG's electronics-related R&D investment will be pumped into next-generation products, such as digital TVs, PDP, LCD, rechargeable batteries, and digital multimedia broadcasting terminals, company officials said.

Samsung SDI said it will increase its entire investment by 38 percent to 1.1 trillion won this year, with R&D spending set to rise over 30 percent to 400 billion won.

Hynix Semiconductor, Daewoo Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, and other leading firms are also planning to increase R&D spending by 10 to 20 percent this year. (Yonhap)

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