S.Korea can offer more to global chip supply chains, says US

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A senior US diplomat on Friday said that South Korea has “much more to offer” to the global economy in terms of semiconductor supply chains, as he called for stronger bilateral ties during economic talks held in Seoul.

Jose Fernandez, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, made the remarks during a meeting with Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon for the sixth Senior Economic Dialogue (SED) meant to discuss cooperation on global supply chains, energy, infrastructure and technology.

“Semiconductor shortages that were caused by Covid-19 put a spotlight on Korea as a leader and an essential partner in global semiconductor supply chains,” Fernandez said in his opening statement at the session.

“We firmly believe Korea has much more to offer to the global economy. You’ve got world class technical expertise, high-quality transparent investment and foreign legislation and more.

“This kind of cooperation brings enormous value from Korea to its partners and to the multilateral organisations, with which it interacts,” he added.

Washington seeks to bolster its relationship with Seoul and other economies in the region amid an intensifying US-China rivalry, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Choi took note of the Joe Biden administration’s initiatives, including the “Indo-Pacific economic framework”, which he said seems to be the US’ “umbrella” initiative.

The plan was first proposed by President Biden at the East Asia Summit in October to cover supply chain resiliency among other areas of cooperation between the US and its regional partners.

Fernandez said earlier teaming up for “trusted” 5G networks will be one of the major agenda items for the meeting, expressing a US desire to work with Korean companies for the next-generation telecommunication projects.

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