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According to Yonhap News,
(MUAN=Yonhap News) A number of foreign companies are seeking to invest in South Jeolla Province, including a Japanese firm that is reviewing to make an additional KRW 80 billion investment in Yeosu.
According to South Jeolla on July 30, representatives of the province's investment promotion department met with President Ueda Yusuke of Sumitomo Seika Chemicals on July 27 at the company's headquarters in Osaka, Japan, where he signed an agreement to spend KRW 80 billion on building a second highly-absorbant synthetic resin factory at the national industrial complex in Yeosu.
With its first factory at the location having completed construction last year and now operating at full capacity, the Japanese fine chemicals company is looking into Singapore, Japan, Korea, and other countries in the region to make additional investments.
Highly-absorbent synthetic resin is an essential ingredient for making disposable diapers and water-absorbent products for electric wires and cables.
Other chemicals companies including Lotte Versalis (Italy), LG MMA (Japan) and Kumho Mitsui Chemicals (Japan) are also planning on investing in South Jeolla.
Cultural content firms Pole To Win Korea Inc., Ltd. (Japan) and Valhalla Networks (Japan), too, are pushing forward with investments in Naju's Bitgaram Innovation City worth a total of KRW 350 billion.
Analysts believe this recent trend is based on global chemicals companies finding it convenient to secure necessary supplies for production in the province due to the concentration of large Korean chemicals companies in Yeosu.
While the main export destination for these companies is China, the province said many prefer to invest in Korea in consideration of intellectual property rights and other technology leak concerns.
Based on the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy's recently-published report on foreign direct investment (FDI) in H1 2017, FDI arrivals in South Jeolla during the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017 reached a total of USD 38 million.
The figure is a 40.7 percent increase from the twelve months preceding that period (USD 27 million).
A South Jeolla source noted, "the province will continue its efforts to attract more global companies that will lead the petrochemicals industry in technological advancements, as well as foreign cultural content companies whose investments tend to create a relatively higher number of new employment opportunities."
Yeou National Industrial Complex (Yonhap)
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Source: Yonhap News (Jul. 30, 2017)
** This article was translated from the Korean.