South Korea to invest $7 billion in AI in bid to retain edge in chips

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Tuesday his country will invest 9.4 trillion won ($6.94 billion) in artificial intelligence by 2027 as part of efforts to retain a leading global position in cutting-edge semiconductor chips.

The announcement, which also includes a separate 1.4 trillion won fund to foster AI semiconductor firms, comes as South Korea tries to keep abreast with countries like the United States, China and Japan that are also giving massive policy support to strengthen semiconductor supply chains on their own turf.

Semiconductors are a key foundation of South Korea's export-driven economy. In March, chip exports reached their highest in 21 months at $11.7 billion, or nearly a fifth of total exports shipped by Asia's fourth-largest economy.

"Current competition in semiconductors is an industrial war and an all-out war between nations," Yoon told a meeting of policymakers and chip industry executives on Tuesday.

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