The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a business summit in Washington D.C. on June 28 (local time). There, South Korean entrepreneurs decided to invest US$12.8 billion in the United States for five years to come. In addition, they decided to purchase U.S. energy and aircraft worth a total of US$22.4 billion and work more closely with their counterparts in the U.S. in the sectors including energy, infrastructure, and future information technology.
The summit was attended by 52 South Korean entrepreneurs and approximately 170 American entrepreneurs and statesmen, including Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chairman Park Yong-man, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, LG Group Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo, Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho, Doosan Group Chairman Park Jeong-won, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, JP Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs, GE Vice Chairman John Rice, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Alaska Governor Bill Walker.
According to the South Korean entrepreneurs who accompanied South Korean President Moon Jae-in in his first state visit to the United States, Samsung Electronics is going to build consumer electronics manufacturing facilities in South Carolina by investing US$380 million and invest US$1.5 billion until 2020 in its semiconductor manufacturing facilities located in Texas, Austin.
LG Electronics builds consumer electronics manufacturing facilities with a total area of 77,000 square meters in Tennessee by 2019 at an investment of US$250 million. The facilities are to produce one million washing machines a year. In addition, LG Electronics builds a new office building in New Jersey by 2019 at an investment of US$300 million so that approximately 1,000 executives and staff members can work there.
SK invests up to US$4.4 billion mainly in the energy sector until 2021. At present, this group is engaged in LNG production and shale gas development in Oklahoma, Texas, etc. On June 28, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GE and Continental Resources for shale gas exploration and production.
The Hyundai Motor Group invests US$3.1 billion in the U.S. automobile market during the same period. It is planning to sharpen its competitive edge in the market by investing in the development of new cars, new engines and future technology such as green self-driving cars.
The Doosan Group is going to invest US$790 million for local manufacturing facility expansion, product development, and fuel cell and energy storage system R&D via its local subsidiaries such as Doosan Bobcat and Doosan Fuel Cell America. It signed two MOUs for acquisition of an American gas turbine company and financing for a power purchase agreement based on fuel cells.
The CJ Group invests US$1.05 billion for construction of CJ Cheil Jedang’s new food and bioproduct manufacturing facilities and local business acquisition by its subsidiaries like CJ Korea Express and CJ CGV. The group is going to promote Korean cuisine in the U.S. by making use of its Bibigo brand, too.
The LS Group invests US$320 million in total. One-eighth of the investment is for automotive electronic component manufacturing facilities in a southern U.S. state. Some of the rest goes to Superior Essex, its subsidiary producing windings and telecom cables, for facility and R&D investment so that it can better respond to local infrastructure market demands. GS Engineering & Construction of the GS Group invests US$10 million in the Silicon Valley for residential area renovation and the Hanjin Group invests US$7 million to renovate its cargo terminal in Los Angeles.
Among smaller South Korean firms, CrucialTec invests US$65 million to develop fourfold biometric access control systems. This company is currently exporting mobile fingerprint recognition modules to the United States. System software developer DataStreams invests US$37 million to establish a local corporation, run a marketing and technical support center, and expand its business in the United States. Semiconductor testing equipment and multilayer ceramic substrate manufacturer Exicon invests US$60 million to set up laboratory and production facilities there.
Nutri Biotech, which is currently producing functional bioproducts in Dallas, is going to invest US$100 million for production facility expansion. Osstem Implant, another South Korean company leading the medical and biotech industry, invests US$30 million to expand its local marketing and production networks. Automobile fuel pump manufacturer Daewha Fuel Pump invests US$70 million to develop and manufacture small electric vehicle components and Hyorim Industries invests US$23 million to build a factory there.
When it comes to the purchase of energy and aircraft, SK imports LNG and LPG from the U.S. in 2020 and later. The amount is estimated at US$1.8 billion to US$3.5 billion a year. GS Caltex imports 2.4 million barrels of crude oil from the U.S. this year as it did last year and its subsidiary GS EPS imports 600,000 tons of shale gas a year for 20 years from 2019. LS is planning to purchase copper concentrate and LPG worth US$3.35 billion in total. The Hanjin Group is to buy 50 jets from Boeing, worth a total of US$10.2 billion, until 2023.
In the meantime, South Korean public enterprises and small and medium-sized companies signed a series of MOUs with American companies for more cooperation in the energy and infrastructure sectors. For example, the Korea Gas Corporation concluded three MOUs for LNG and infrastructure projects in the United States. According to the MOUs, the corporation is to conduct feasibility studies with the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation for an infrastructure project, conduct a research with Energy Transfer for the Lake Charles LNG Project, and work with Exxon Mobil for research activities related to shale gas development. Hyorim Industries inked a MOU with Beni & Associates to establish a local corporation and Daliworks signed a MOU with Freewave for technical cooperation and smart factory market expansion.