S. Korea Targets $120 Billion Chip Exports Amid India's Semiconductor Ascent

South Korea is gearing up to bolster its semiconductor industry, aiming to achieve an annual export target of $120 billion, announced Industry Minister Ahn Duk-geun. The plan entails proactive support for semiconductor development, particularly in high-bandwidth memory and artificial intelligence chips.

During a visit to SK hynix's semiconductor cluster construction site, Ahn emphasized the government's commitment to facilitating the timely establishment of infrastructure, securing competitive technologies, promoting exports, and strengthening the ecosystem across materials, parts, equipment, and fabless sectors, as reported by Yonhap news agency.

This initiative comes amidst India's ambitious foray into the semiconductor domain, with substantial investments pouring in. Industry sources reveal that investment proposals worth $26 billion are currently under review by the Indian government for semiconductor manufacturing in the country. Notably, the government has already cleared proposals totaling over $18 billion, including three new semiconductor fabrication projects.

SK hynix, in tandem, is embarking on an extensive expansion plan, intending to construct four fabrication plants at the site with a budget of 120 trillion won ($89.5 billion) by 2046. The groundbreaking for the first unit is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2025, with a primary focus on producing DRAM and NAND flash memory chips, establishing the cluster as its flagship production hub.

During his visit, Ahn articulated the government's vision to position South Korean businesses at the forefront of the artificial intelligence sector. To support this objective, the ministry plans to inaugurate a new department dedicated to fostering the development of the semiconductor cluster, alongside implementing comprehensive support measures.

Furthermore, the government aims to unveil strategies to enhance the competitive edge of chip equipment within the first half of the year, reflecting its commitment to fortifying the semiconductor ecosystem.

Amidst these initiatives, South Korea's chip exports have exhibited a promising rebound, surging by 66.7% year-on-year to $9.94 billion in February. This marks the fourth consecutive month of growth, signaling a robust recovery trajectory for the semiconductor industry and underlining South Korea's position as a key player in the global semiconductor market.