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S. Korea has made progress in lowering its tech reliance on Japan since export curbs: Asahi Shimbun Updated: 2020-01-21 16:05:29 KST

South Korea is making achievements in lowering its reliance on high tech Japanese exports.
That's according to Japan's Asahi Shimbun Tuesday which said collaboration between the South Korean government, conglomerates and local mid-and-small sized companies to localize tech materials and parts is showing progress following Tokyo's restrictions on tech exports in July of last year.
The newspaper cited Seoul's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yoon-mo's visit to South Korean chemical company SoulBrain earlier this month, saying the firm now has the capacity to supply high purity hydrofluoric acid, a key material needed to produce semiconductors, to South Korean companies.
U.S.-based chemical firm DuPont also announced in January that it will invest 28 million U.S. dollars to build a photoresist production plant in South Korea.
The South Korean government has invested around four.six billion dollars over the last 19 years to localize key high tech materials and parts, but wasn't able to make much progress.
The Asahi Shimbun said the reason Seoul was able to localize materials much more quickly this time had to do with the push for localization within South Korea's private sector.
For instance, it said Samsung Electronics has chosen suppliers outside of Japan to produce around 220 key parts and materials that are mainly shipped from Japan.
In addition, South Korean conglomerates are allowing local small and mid-sized companies to test their parts and materials at their facilities.
As announced in August 2019, the South Korean government has also pledged to allocate 860 million dollars a year to localize 20 key tech parts and materials within a year, and 80 within five years.
However, the paper says the success of localization depends on if the conglomerates actually use local parts and materials when they produce their goods.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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