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S. Korean biz groups examine U.S. operations, investments ahead of Biden visit

Economy 16:41 May 16, 2022

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean business groups were reassessing their U.S. operations and investments, industry officials said Monday, as the upcoming summit between South Korea and the U.S. is expected to strengthen cooperation in key sectors and global supply chains.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is set to hold his first summit talks with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Saturday in Seoul.

The two are expected to discuss a range of topics, including North Korean missile and nuclear programs, cooperation in supply chain issues, emerging technology and other areas of economic security.

During Biden's visit, business leaders of the two countries are scheduled to hold a roundtable meeting Saturday at a Seoul hotel to discuss cooperation.

Top executives of South Korea's five largest business groups -- Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor, LG and Lotte -- are expected to participate in the event, along with Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

It remains unclear whether Biden will attend the event, according to an informed official.

Still, Biden could meet with top business executives individually. Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., is one of the most likely candidates to meet with Biden.

Talks are reportedly underway for Biden to visit Samsung's chip plant in Pyeongtaek, south Seoul, during his visit. Lee is expected to give Biden a tour of the factory in person if the schedule is confirmed.

In November, Samsung Electronics Co. selected the city of Taylor in Texas as the site of its new US$17 billion chip fabrication plant in a move to boost production amid a global chip shortage.

Hyundai Motor is reportedly preparing to announce its plan to build a new electric vehicle plant in the U.S. during Biden's visit.

The company already has a plant in Atlanta, and its affiliate Kia Corp. has a factory in Georgia.

An industry official said it was most likely that other companies could either speed up or expand previously announced U.S. plans, as opposed to making new announcements.

This undated file photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co. shows its chip plant in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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