Samsung announces three-year $160bn investment plans

Samsung announces three-year $160bn investment plans

The announcement follows many months of deliberations and review by the management and board of directors of different Samsung companies that will make the investments. Youth unemployment rates are at historic highs and exports, apart from the booming memory chip sector, have been slow to recover.

Samsung is investing $22bn (£17bn) in "growth areas" including artificial intelligence and 5G over the next three years, the company announced on Wednesday.

"Samsung aims to become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for autonomous driving, utilizing its leadership in semiconductors, telecommunications and display technologies".

The company is one of the largest employers in South Korea, and is seen as one of the nation's shining lights to the rest of the world - a reputation that was severely damaged previous year when company heir Jay Y.Lee was imprisoned on bribery charges.

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In flagging specific areas of investment, the plan is the first of its kind for the conglomerate and suggests more emphasis than usual on expanding into new segments as its core semiconductor and smartphone businesses show signs of weakness. Of the total, 130 trillion won ($116 billion) will be spent in Korea to create 40,000 jobs, twice as much as initially planned.

The new strategy will entail an overhaul of Samsung's internal venture incubation program, said the company.

Lee was released from jail earlier in 2018 after a year in detention on bribery charges, lifting hopes among some investors that Samsung will hike investments and create jobs. "It will continue to invest heavily in the businesses, including developing and manufacturing biosimilars to combat chronic and difficult-to-cure diseases". Samsung plans to allocate 25 trillion won in such fields. This will lead to the creation of an additional 15,000 jobs, Samsung said.

This still gives it a market share of 20.6 per cent, but even Samsung acknowledged in its results that sales of its newer devices hadn't been as good as excpected.

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