Government Designates Specialized Complexes to Boost Strategic Industries in South Korea

The South Korean government has announced the designation of seven specialized complexes for the nation’s advanced strategic industries and an additional five complexes for materials, parts, and equipment. The move aims to bolster sectors like semiconductors, secondary batteries, displays, future cars, and biotechnology.

Among the specialized complexes, Yongin and Pyeongtaek will be developed into a semiconductor cluster focused on memory and system semiconductors. Gumi will play a significant role as a semiconductor materials hub, while Cheongju, Pohang, Saemangeum, and Ulsan are identified as strategic locations for secondary batteries. Next-generation displays will be centered in Cheonan and Asan.

In addition, specialized complexes will be established for materials, parts, and equipment in other regions. Gwangju will focus on future cars and autonomous vehicle components, Daegu on future cars and electric motor technologies, Chungbuk Osong on biotechnology and raw materials for biopharmaceuticals, Busan on semiconductors and power semiconductors, and Gyeonggi Anseong on semiconductors and semiconductor equipment.

The government expects substantial private investments in these specialized complexes, projecting around 614 trillion won ($480.43 billion) by 2042 for the advanced strategic industry complexes and approximately 6.7 trillion won ($5.24 billion) by 2032 for the materials, parts, and equipment complexes. To facilitate these investments, the government is offering comprehensive support, including expedited permit and approval processing (60-day timeout system), deregulation measures, tax incentives, budget support, eased building capacity restrictions, and infrastructure improvements.

The new biotechnology industry, designated as a national strategic industry, will also see the announcement of a specialized complex in the second half of this year and official designation in the first half of next year. And another eight National Strategic Industry Specialized Universities have been selected, with plans to provide 54 billion won ($42.25 billion) this year to support the development of interdisciplinary educational programs, faculty recruitment, and improved educational environments.

The selection process for the specialized complexes considered factors such as possession of advanced strategic technology, new investments by leading and related companies, potential for industrial ecosystem development, and regional balanced development. A total of 21 local governments applied for the designation.