South Korea publicised plans to invest KRW1 trillion ($854 million) annually in developing high-tech materials to reduce its dependence on imports from Japan, after the country suddenly announced it would restrict the export of some materials to Korean companies, Yonhap News Agency reported.
A representative from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it completed a feasibility study on the investment, covering production of semiconductor materials, parts and equipment over the ten years starting in 2020, the news agency wrote.
Earlier in the week, Japan said it planned to limit the export of highly specialised products needed to make chips and smartphone displays, an apparent reaction to a Korean court ruling Japanese companies must compensate its citizens for being forced to work in factories between 1910 and 1945.
The Korean government also aims to regulate the import of materials it considers vital, such as fluorine-containing polyimide used to make flexible OLED displays, etching gas and resist, a thin layer used to transfer a circuit pattern to a semiconductor substrate.
In the first five months of 2019, Korean companies imported 90 per cent of their fluorine-containing polyimide and resist supplies from Japan, data from Korea International Trade Association showed.
The trade ministry plans to prepare a detailed plan by the end of the month on boosting production of high-tech materials, the news agency stated.
*Original article online at https://www.mobileworldlive.com/asia/asia-news/korea-plots-massive-investment-in-domestic-materials/