(ATTN: ADDS remarks during video conversation with Samsung employees in paras 10-13)
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government will offer "bold support" for South Korea's development of next-generation displays as he paid a visit to a local factory of Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate.
"Now, it's important (for South Korea) to keep the No. 1 spot, changing the trend of the world's display market," he said during a speech at Samsung Display's factory in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, 90 kilometers south of Seoul. "The government will boldly support the development of next-generation display technology."
He was attending the signing ceremony of an accord between Samsung and the local authorities on its plan to invest 13.1 trillion won (US$10.9 billion) in the next-generation display sector, namely the quantum dot LED (QLED) market.
Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, joined the event as well. It was the seventh official meeting between Moon and Lee this year.
Samsung's announcement came three months after LG Display made public its scheme for an additional 3 trillion won of investment in organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV panels.
"On the basis of the world's No. 1 OLED competitiveness, we should also take the lead in the next-generation display market," the president stressed.
He said the government will pour 400 billion won into the new-generation display field over the coming seven years.
"(I) expect it to become the priming water for civilian investment to become more vitalized," Moon said.
Second, he added, the government will "innovate the ecosystem of (South Korea's) display industry by expanding support for materials, parts and equipment companies and establish a model for co-prosperity and cooperation."
He then had a video call with workers at the factory. He thanked Samsung Group for playing a pivotal role in South Korea's economy.
"Samsung is always taking the lead in the semiconductor, mobile phone and display sectors, thus spearheading the Republic of Korea's economy. I always appreciate it," Moon said, using the nation's official name.
The president pointed out public concern about the impact from Japan's export restrictions against South Korea, and he asked the Samsung employees, "Can I have no worry (about the situation) now?" They answered yes.
Moon was referring to Samsung Display's efforts to rely less on supplies from Japan for some key materials.
In April, Moon toured Samsung's Nano City campus in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
In the wake of the event, Moon had a luncheon meeting with a group of businessmen based in the province as part of the 11th round of his "economy tour" of an area outside Seoul.
He has been crisscrossing the nation on the economy tour program, starting from North Jeolla Province in October 2018. He also has visited North Gyeongsang Province, South Gyeongsang Province, Ulsan, Daejeon, Busan, Daegu, Gangwon Province, North Chungcheong Province and South Jeolla Province.
Later in the day, Moon received a briefing from the South Chungcheong provincial government on its maritime growth strategy.
Gov. Yang Seung-Jo reported a vision to turn the province, located along the Yellow Sea, into a mecca for the ocean and fisheries industries.
Moon said the government will pay attention to the province's initiative and offer necessary support.
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