SEOUL, May 17 – South Korea\’s Samsung Electronics said on Monday it would invest a record 26 trillion won (22.7 billion dollars) this year to cater for a global uptick in demand and to reinforce its market dominance.
It said about 18 trillion won would be spent on new facilities – including 11 trillion for semiconductor plants and five trillion for LCD panel production – while about eight trillion won would be spent on research and development.
The company said in a statement it expects to hire 10,000 new staff in 2010.
While the world economic environment remains uncertain, "if we invest aggressively in expanding facilities and in hiring, then these circumstances also present Samsung with an opportunity for future growth and to stimulate the economy," chairman Lee Kun-Hee said.
He was speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony for a semiconductor plant at Hwaseong 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of Seoul.
Samsung Electronics, flagship of the country\’s biggest business group, is already the world\’s largest maker of memory chips and flat-screen TVs, and the second largest mobile phone manufacturer after Finland\’s Nokia.
It said it decided to boost investment "to address indications of improving market conditions" in the global consumer electronics and IT industries, while further strengthening its leadership in memory chips and LCD panels.
The company said it would increase investment in memory chip production from its originally planned 5.5 trillion won to 9 trillion.
In expectation of growing demand for large LCD TV panels from next year, the firm would establish a new production line at a cost of 2.5 trillion won.
Samsung Electronics employs about 188,000 people in 185 offices across 65 countries.
Last week the Samsung group announced plans to invest 20.3 billion dollars in healthcare and green energy over the next decade as it moves to diversify into new growth engines.