Sunday , May 19 2024

Yoon says US-South Korea alliance should evolve into future tech partnership

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Tuesday the South Korean-U.S. alliance must “leap into a new phase” to jointly overcome complex crises, including slowing economic growth, technology competition with strategic rivals and climate change.

Speaking a day before a Washington summit with President Joe Biden, Yoon told an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the bilateral security alliance should “evolve into a supply chain and future-oriented, innovative-technology alliance.”

He said the two countries’ economies had been facing new challenges and the economic slowdown was unsettling the investment environment.

“Competition for technological hegemony, energy issues and climate crises are casting more uncertainties on business activity day by day,” Yoon said.

Yoon said that from a joint venture involving a South Korean and a U.S. firm in 1965, South Korea had risen to become the global leader in memory semiconductor production, accounting for 60% of global market share.

“This cooperation should extend beyond semiconductors to future emerging technologies such as AI, Quantum, SMR (Small Modular Reactors) and more,” Yoon said.

Core technologies from the United States and South Korea’s advanced manufacturing capabilities would “create enormous synergies that will benefit both countries,” he said.

Yoon said he hoped that during his visit the countries would reaffirm their status as true allies and advanced technology partners to create innovative business opportunities.

“Our bilateral investments need to be expanded both quantitatively and qualitatively, to build more stable and resilient supply chains.”

He said the two nations were the ideal partners for “friend-shoring” – a reference to a U.S.-led process of reducing dependence on China for key goods and materials although he made no mention of China by name.

Yoon said his government was working to create a fair and predictable market environment and to offer significant tax credit to facilitate bold investments by U.S. companies.

“The Republic of Korea and the United States have been painting a wonderful rough sketch together for the past 70 years,” he said. “The next 70 years together will be a journey of filling the rough sketch with well-matched colors.”

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