(Overseas Mission) Gyeonggi Province Governor Signs Friendship and Cooperation Agreement with Arizona to Promote Joint Technology Development and Investment

Createdd 2024-05-15 Hit 64

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Gyeonggi Province Governor Dong Yeon Kim, who is visiting the United States and Canada to strengthen international exchanges and attract foreign investment, visited Arizona, a state known for its semiconductor industry, to open the door for exchanges and cooperation between the two regions. To attract overseas investment, he visited the US semiconductor company Onsemi to encourage further investment.

On the afternoon of May 14, Governor Kim met with Arizona State Governor Katie Hobbs at the Arizona Commerce Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona, to sign a friendship and cooperation agreement. This makes Arizona the fourth U.S. state to sign such an agreement with Gyeonggi Province after Texas, Michigan and California.

“Gyeonggi Province and Arizona are natural partners, and today’s agreement will further strengthen our innovation alliance in high-tech industries, climate change and more… Let’s build a Gyeonggi-Arizona Line in the high-tech, semiconductor and battery industries. The Gyeonggi-Arizona Line will be the beginning of our shared prosperity and long-term partnership,” said Governor Kim.

Governor Hobbs remarked that she sees many similarities between the two regions and believes they can build on each other’s strengths to achieve results that benefit the peoples of both regions. Through technical cooperation, R&D collaboration and innovation sharing in areas such as batteries, semiconductors and automotive, she noted that cooperation can contribute to the economies of both regions, develop talent and create more jobs.

In addition, Governor Kim explained the difficulties in obtaining visas for Korean professionals in connection with investments by Korean companies in Arizona and requested that Governor Hobbs make efforts to facilitate the passage of the Korean Partner Act, which is currently pending in the U.S. Congress, so as to increase the visa quota for Korean professionals. This is part of economic diplomacy to support the employment of Koreans in the United States, and Governor Hobbs responded that she would make every effort.

Under the agreement, the two regions will cooperate in business exchanges, start-ups, IT, high-tech industries (electric vehicles, batteries, semiconductors, etc.), youth development, culture and sports, and climate change.

As an initial case of exchange and cooperation, the Next Generation Convergence Technology Institute and Hanyang University in Gyeonggi Province hand delivered a letter of intent (LOI) to Arizona State University for the joint development of international technologies in the field of semiconductors. The LOI includes the identification of joint research and development projects in the field of semiconductors and the sharing of infrastructure. The Next Generation Convergence Technology Institute plans to support research on next-generation semiconductor materials, Arizona State University plans to cooperate in research on the utilization of 300mm process facilities, and Hanyang University will cooperate in areas such as nano-measurement. Innovative semiconductor companies in the province such as Park Systems, Amo Green Tech, Dawon Nexview and Join Technology also plan to participate in the research.

In follow up, Arizona State University has invited detailed working discussions on the proposed joint semiconductor R&D and workforce training. Arizona State University is known for having one of the world’s most advanced semiconductor research centers (AEP Core) on campus.

Speaking to Governor Hobbs, Governor Kim said, “This morning, Arizona State University, Next Generation Convergence Technology Institute and Hanyang University held discussions on human resource training and technology cooperation… Please support our cooperation with Arizona State University in various high-tech industries, including semiconductors.”

Arizona, a desert state in the southwestern United States, has recently become known as the “Silicon Desert,” reminiscent of California’s Silicon Valley. The cities of Phoenix, Tucson, and Glendale are innovation clusters with high concentrations of technology companies and research in high-tech industries such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence (AI), and information technology (IT).

Gyeonggi Province plans to establish a new exchange relationship with Arizona, which is a center for high-tech industries such as semiconductors and batteries. In particular, since Arizona is a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of governors actively engaged in climate response, Gyeonggi expects to be able to cooperate internationally as a local government in responding to the climate crisis.

This is the second time the two have met, as Governor Kim met with Governor Hobbs in Seoul during her visit to South Korea last September to solidify their commitment to an innovation alliance. Hobbs then wrote to Kim in November, saying that maintaining a successful long-term relationship with Gyeonggi Province is a top priority and inviting Governor Kim to visit the state of Arizona.

Visit to Onsemi Headquarters to Encourage Further Investment in Gyeonggi Province

Governor Kim also met with Onsemi Chairman Hassan El-Khoury, Chief Operating Officer Wang Weicheng, and President Kang Byeong-gon at the Onsemi headquarters in Scottsdale at 1 p.m. (local time) to propose cooperation and exchanges with Gyeonggi Province’s small and medium-sized enterprises as well as additional investment.

According to a report in the New York Times on March 20, Onsemi is said to be considering an additional investment of USD 2 billion. Accordingly, the Gyeonggi Province delegation visited Onsemi’s headquarters that same day to attract Onsemi’s additional investment in the non-memory field to Gyeonggi Province.

“Over the past two years, we have invested more than USD 1 billion in the Bucheon site to create a new silicon carbide manufacturing line… We ask for your continued administrative and financial support for additional investments in the future,” said Wang Weicheng, Chief Operating Officer of Onsemi.

“I flew in as quickly as I could to see you, even if only for a few minutes. I want to thank you for supporting the investment in Onsemi Korea,” said Hassane El-Khoury, chairman of Onsemi, who arrived 50 minutes late to the meeting due to a government meeting in Washington, DC. “In the future, non-memory semiconductors made in Bucheon will be used in electric vehicles around the world.”

“Onsemi Korea is a key player in the history of Korea’s semiconductor industry and an important partner for Gyeonggi Province,” said Governor Kim Dong-yeon. “We look forward to your positive investment decision and will work with Bucheon City to provide the necessary administrative and financial support.”

“Onsemi Korea has a very good partnership with Gyeonggi Province and Bucheon City. I hope they will take this into consideration,” he added.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Onsemi – a leader in megatrends such as electric vehicles, energy grids, industrial automation, 5G, and cloud infrastructure, as well as the automotive industry – recorded USD 8.3 billion in revenue last year. Onsemi has been part of the history of Korean semiconductors since it acquired Hushin, a Korean semiconductor company founded in Bucheon in 1974. In October last year, it completed a state-of-the-art research institute and manufacturing facility for next-generation non-memory power semiconductors in Bucheon. Of particular note, the newly completed facility is the world’s largest state-of-the-art facility capable of producing more than 1 million 200mm SiC wafers per year, and is expected to become a strategic location for Onsemi to further solidify its industry leadership.

Governor Kim visited Onsemi together with representatives of SMEs in Gyeonggi Province, including Park Systems, Amo Greentech, Dawon Nexview, and Joyn Technology. The visit not only strengthened the domestic semiconductor SME ecosystem, but also provided important exchange opportunities for semiconductor component companies in the Gyeonggi region.