November 24, 2022 12:38
President Yoon Suk-yeol in a Zoom meeting on Wednesday asked maverick Tesla CEO Elon Musk to build a giant factory in Korea to make electric cars. Musk said he considers Korea one of top candidates for investment.
Tesla already has five factories -- three in the U.S. and one each in China and Germany -- and is looking for a second production base in Asia.
The Zoom meeting lasted about 30 minutes, according to the presidential office.
"If there are unreasonable obstacles to global high-tech innovative companies' investment in Korea, we will reform them to meet global standards," Yoon promised the billionaire.
Musk said he will make his decision after a comprehensive review of candidate countries' investment conditions, skills base and production environment, adding Tesla is already using many Korean-made parts in the autonomous driving and artificial intelligence sectors.
He said Tesla hopes to expand supply chain cooperation with Korean companies and parts purchases from Korean manufacturers will grow to at least US$10 billion by 2023, almost double the $5.7 billion this year.
Musk has recently been making headlines with his ill-advised takeover of Twitter and peremptory firing of core staff, which have cast serious doubts on his judgement. But Tesla shares are one of the most popular overseas stocks among Korean investors.
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