Samsung Electronics held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new semiconductor research and development (R&D) complex in Seoul, in a move to bolster its global leadership in cutting-edge chip technology.
Samsung plans to invest around 15.06 billion USD by 2028 for the 109,000-square-meter complex within its Giheung campus in Yongin, which is 50 km from the south of Seoul.
The envisioned facility is expected to help Samsung lead in areas of advanced research for memory and system semiconductors.
The ceremony drew some 100 Samsung executives and employees, including Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong, who received a presidential pardon last week for his bribery conviction involving former ousted President Park Geun-Hye, reports Yonhap news agency.
It marked Lee's first public appearance after his pardon.
"We start a new challenge at the Giheung campus, where the first shovelling to build a semiconductor factory took place 40 years ago," Lee said. "Let's continue the tradition of technology-oriented, up-front investment. Let's create the future with technology that currently does not exist in the world," he added.
Industry watchers see Lee's visit to the campus as a sign that the Samsung heir is dedicated to supporting the nation in tackling recent economic woes by further advancing the country's semiconductor prowess.
Following his pardon, Lee said last week that he will work harder to fulfil his responsibility as a businessman and "help the economy by creating more jobs for young people."
Samsung said it plans to strengthen cooperation with domestic and foreign partners in the field of materials, parts and equipment through the construction of the R&D complex.