Efforts to expand South Chungcheong Province's significant lead in the display sector are gaining momentum as the region aims to become a 'Global Display Hub.'
Earlier this year, Samsung Display committed to investing 4.1 trillion KRW over four years. This was followed by the province being selected as a specialized zone for advanced strategic display industries. Now, U.S.△based Corning, a global producer of display materials, has announced a substantial new investment.
According to official sources, Corning held a ceremony commemorating its 50th anniversary of investment in Korea at its Tangjeong Display City Corning Precision Materials Plant 2 in Asan. The event was attended by prominent figures including Governor Kim Tae△heum, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae△yong, and Corning Chairman Wendell Weeks.
The ceremony proceeded in the order of viewing a special video to celebrate Corning's 50△year investment in Korea, welcome remarks by Chairman Wendell Weeks, congratulatory speeches by Chairman Lee Jae△yong and Governor Kim Tae△heum, a business plan presentation by Corning Precision Materials CEO Lee Soo△bong, and a future collaboration ceremony.
During his presentation, CEO Lee Soo△bong announced plans to establish a fully integrated supply chain for next△generation ultra△thin bendable glass in Chungnam. This will mark the first such production line for ultra△thin bendable glass among Corning’s global manufacturing facilities.
Ultra-thin bendable glass is utilized in foldable phones and advanced automotive displays.
The CEO emphasized that Corning's recent investment aims to proactively respond to emerging demands in the display market.
This is the first time that Corning has introduced a production line for ultra-thin bendable glass in Chungnam among its global manufacturing facilities.
The local government anticipates that Corning's recent investment announcement will serve as a catalyst for expanding investments in Chungnam by leading international companies in the display sector.
Corning Precision Materials is currently producing high-performance display substrate glass and Gorilla Glass, which is used for smartphone and tablet covers.
As of 2021, the company recorded a workforce of 2,691 employees, revenue of 3.9524 trillion KRW, and an operating profit of 175.2 billion KRW.
Its parent company, Corning, was founded in 1851 and, as of 2021, employs over 61,000 people worldwide with a net revenue of $14.8 billion (approximately 16.8 trillion KRW).
The company has four business locations in Korea, including Corning Precision Materials.
Governor Kim Tae△heum had previously visited Corning's location in New York State last April to discuss investment opportunities, during which he urged continuous investment in Chungnam, a hub for the display industry.
At the commemorative ceremony, Governor Kim stated, "Corning's Tangjeong plant in Asan boasts the world's largest substrate glass production system, and Corning Technology Center Korea is the largest of its overseas research centers." He added, "The people of our province view Corning, which has been with Korea for 50 years and with Chungnam for 20 years, as 'our company.' Chungnam will fully support the new future of the display industry being created by 'our company, Corning.'"
Governor Kim also mentioned, "The province plans to create specialized zones by linking display component companies dispersed across Cheonan and Asan. We will focus on regulatory improvements, infrastructure and R&D support, and talent development to create momentum for growth in collaboration with the government and businesses."
On another note, South Chungcheong accounts for over 20% of the global display production value (based on 2021's 155.7 billion USD) and more than 50% of South Korea’s 52 billion USD.
Samsung Display, the world's number one display panel company, is located in Asan, along with 378 SMEs in the supply chain.
Cheonan and Asan also boast state-of-the-art technology verification platforms such as display innovation processes and parts testing beds.
In April, the local government participated in the 'Next-Generation Display Investment Announcement and Mutual Growth Agreement Ceremony,' attended by Governor Kim, President Yoon Seok-yeol, and Chairman Lee Jae-yong. At the ceremony, an agreement was signed with Samsung Display.
The core of the agreement involves Samsung Display's plans to establish a world-leading 8.6th-generation IT-specific OLED production line centered around its Asan campus, with an investment of 4.1 trillion KRW planned through 2026.
Chungnam's Display Advanced Strategic Industrial Special Zone was designated last July.
The specialized zone includes two cities and ten industrial parks, covering Cheonan's Second General Industrial Complex, the Northern BIT General Industrial Park, Asan Smart Valley, and Tangjeong Display City, with a total area of 14.12 million square meters.
The local government aims to establish an 'Innovation Cluster for Display Industry Security and Global Technological Leadership,' with plans to invest 325.8 billion KRW through 2027 to push forward 17 different projects.
The province is currently running seven new projects, including: △The designation and operation of a joint research center for strategic technologies △Support for display projects △Cooperative research and development for strategic technologies △Operation of a task force for specialized advanced strategic industrial zones △A fast verification program for strategic technologies △Management of advanced strategic technology holding companies for displays △Display industry development fund
According to the province, the specialized zone designation will help in: △Securing competitive edge in display technology △ Cementing the global leading position through aggressive investment △ Realizing a substantial lead in the Korean display industry and enhancing economic security △ Providing a stable growth foundation for small and medium-sized enterprises △ Achieving mutual growth in upstream and downstream industries △ Establishing an electronic industry security system centered around South Chungcheong
Department of Investment and Trade Policy, Foreign Investment Attraction Team