Kim Dong-yeon, South Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister for economy, front row, second from left, poses with Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, third from left, at the company’s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, on Monday. [Photo by Kim Ho-young]
Samsung as the household corporate name in Korea should set the example on how a Korean Inc. should be run and do business in the transitional period towards the age of automation and digitalization, said deputy prime minister for economy.
“Samsung as the top player among the Korean Inc. must set the role in revamping ownership structure and correcting unfair business practices,” Kim Dong-yeon, who doubles as strategy and finance minister, told Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee during his visit to the cutting-edge semiconductor base of Samsung Electronics in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, on Monday.
Kim also asked Samsung to be exemplary on pursuing balanced growth with smaller companies and continue to generate new growth engine.
The top economic policymaker pledged government support to broaden industrial infrastructure in the areas of artificial intelligence, big data, hydrogen economy, and shared economy.
After looking around Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing facility, Kim also said Samsung’s wafer fabrication best represents a smart facility that utilizes big data and high value technologies.
Samsung Group on its part should put out efforts to develop network, pioneer the market, nurture workforce, and boost technology development to help enhance competitiveness and global expansion of its suppliers as well as other small- and mid-size companies and start-ups.
Kim and Lee discussed measures to create an environment for innovative growth by boosting public-private partnership, create new jobs for young people, nurture future growth engines, and enhance win-win partnership.
The Samsung manufacturing site is the fifth company Kim has visited after he became in charge of economic affairs under President Moon Jae-in who was elected with agenda to reform chaebol establishments and the economy’s over-reliance on chaebols.
Kim earlier met with LG Group Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon in December, last year, Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun in January, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won in March, and Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin in June.
His visit to Samsung site came after Moon met with Lee in India for Samsung’s smartphone factory opening ceremony. It was Lee’s first public appearance after he was released from jail after a yearlong imprisonment in relation to bribery case of ousted President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung Group has since been subject to multiple probes by prosecutors, antitrust, and financial authorities. Samsung Electronics was expected to announce ambitious capital investment in the scale of 100 trillion won timed with Kim’s visit after Moon asked for Samsung’s aggressive role in generating innovation and hiring. The spending announcement was put off after a media reported that Kim was advised by an unnamed official from the Blue House to “not to beg for” investment from Samsung.
Kim expressed “regret” over the misleading report, but nevertheless did not mention investment during his visit to Samsung.
By Lee Yu-sup and Lee Eun-joo
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