Samsung chief urges active investment during Malaysia visit

2024.02.13 12:42:01 | 2024.02.13 17:31:21

[Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]

Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Jay Y. Lee has embarked on his first overseas trip for global management this year by visiting Samsung SDI Co.’s battery production facility in Malaysia. Lee emphasized the need for bold investment, indicating that Samsung is set to adopt an aggressive management approach this year.

According to Samsung Electronics on Monday, Lee conducted an inspection of Samsung SDI’s battery business during his visit to Seremban, Malaysia, on February 9. He received a briefing on the local business and toured the production site of the company’s first battery factory and the construction site of the second factory with Samsung SDI President Choi Yoon-ho.

Samsung SDI commenced construction of the second plant in 2022 to meet the growing demand for cylindrical batteries, with an investment of 1.7 trillion won ($1.27 billion), set to be completed by 2025.

The Seremban factory plans to start mass-producing PRiMX 21700 cylindrical batteries from 2024. With a diameter of 21mm and a height of 70mm, the PRiMX 21700 batteries will be utilized in various products such as power tools and electric vehicles.

Lee stressed the importance of bold challenges during his visit to Malaysia.

“We must invest boldly and not be intimidated by challenges,” Lee said, emphasizing that “we should not be focused on short-term results.”

While Samsung SDI achieved record results last year with sales of 22.7 trillion won and an operating profit of 1.6 trillion won, it has recently faced the impact of the slowdown in the global market for power tools and electric cars.

Lee’s call for bold investment is interpreted as a determination to actively invest to secure future technological competitiveness without being swayed by market conditions.

Notably, Samsung Electronics has continued its commitment to future growth through research and development expenses, allocating 7.55 trillion won in the fourth quarter of last year ? the highest on a quarterly basis.

Samsung Electronics’ annual facility investment for 2023 remained similar to the previous year, standing at 53.1 trillion won. This year, the company plans to intensify its focus on R&D in high-bandwidth memory (HBM), driven by the surge in demand due to the artificial intelligence (AI) trend.

Following his visit to Seremban, Lee also visited the largest store in Southeast Asia, established in collaboration with Malaysian retailer Senheng, reflecting Samsung’s commitment to exploring and understanding local market dynamics.

The visit to Malaysia during the Korean holiday season is not the first for Lee. Last Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), he visited Samsung Electronics’ R&D center in Israel and the TV and tablet factory in Egypt. He also inspected Samsung C&T Corp.’s construction site of the Neom City tunnel project in Saudi Arabia.

By Oh Chan-jong and Minu Kim

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