South Korean manufacturers’ investment in China, Vietnam and the United States soared by 76.5 percent in one year for their response to trade protectionism and more cooperation with global companies.
According to KDB Future Strategy Research Institute, their reported investment in the three countries increased from US$5,393 million in 2017 to US$9,521 million in 2018. Specifically, those in the United States, Vietnam and China increase from US$1,164 million to US$2,113 million, from US$1,505 million to US$2,227 million and from US$2,724 million to US$5,181 million, respectively.
When it comes to China and Vietnam, investment showed a substantial increase in the fields of semiconductor, display and electronic and communication equipment. As for the United States, the growth was led by consumer electronics manufacturers, automakers and chemical companies.
In the electronic and communication equipment sector, the reported investment in China and Vietnam rose from US$870 million to US$2.2 billion and from US$440 million to US$700 million, respectively. LG Display has invested approximately five trillion won in China since 2017 to build 8.5th-generation OLED production facilities. Samsung Electronics invests 16.7 trillion won in Xian, China until 2020 to build two semiconductor production plants.
In the electrical equipment sector, the reported annual investment in China jumped from US$140 million to US$790 million from 2014 to 2018. Samsung SDI built battery manufacturing facilities in Tianjin, China in 2017 at an investment of 900 billion won and is planning to invest more in the region. In Vietnam, Samsung is expanding its display manufacturing facilities by investing 2.8 trillion won and LG is investing one trillion won for an OLED production plant while expanding its consumer electronics manufacturing plant.
In the United States, LG built a washing machine manufacturing plant in Tennessee and Lotte Chemical is going to build a chemical plant in Louisiana.