SEOUL: Samsung Group will invest US$22 billion (25 trillion won) over three years in artificial intelligence, 5G mobile technology, electronic components for autos, and the biopharmaceutical business, Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday.
The investment is part of a broader US$160.89 billion (180 trillion won) package South Korea’s biggest business group is planning to spend over the period to create jobs and secure new growth areas, as its core semiconductor and smartphone businesses weaken.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s top maker of memory chips and smartphones and the group’s flagship company, did not provide a breakdown of the figures but said it will provide most of the investment.
It said the group plans to significantly expand artificial intelligence (AI) research capability, increasing the number of advanced AI researchers to 1,000 across its global AI centres, and heavily invest in biopharmaceuticals.
“Samsung has seen strong growth from both its contract manufacturing and biosimilar businesses. It will continue to invest heavily in the businesses, including developing and manufacturing biosimilars,” it said in a statement.
The announcement sent shares in contract drugmaker Samsung BioLogics up more than 5%. Shares in the group’s information technology services affiliate Samsung SDS rose 5%.
Samsung Electronics stocks traded flat.
The 180 trillion won 3-year investment plan, which includes capital spending as well as research and development in chips and displays, marks a 6% increase from its spending over the past three years.
Of the total, 130 trillion won will be spent in South Korea, and is expected to create 40,000 jobs, or 20,000 more than its previous hiring plans, Samsung said.
The investment plan comes after South Korea’s finance minister met Samsung heir Jay Y.Lee on Monday and called for help in job creation.
Lee was released from jail earlier in 2018 after a year in detention on bribery charges, lifting hopes among some investors that Samsung will hike investments and create jobs.
Samsung Group has 62 affiliates, with a total asset of 399 trillion won, according to the country’s Fair Trade Commission.