Merck’s Electronics business CEO Kai Beckmann, right on the screen, claps his hands along with Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung, left on the screen, during a video conference session on April 14. To the right of the table, Merck Korea Managing Director Kim Woo-kyu also takes part in the meeting alongside Gyeonggi Province officials. Photo courtesy of Gyeonggi Province

Merck plans to invest over 200 million euros in Korea

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung, one of the strongest presidential candidates for South Korea’s 2022 election, is not best known as a business-friendly politician.

However, he held a rare video conference session with a foreign businessman on April 14 as it was not an ordinary company; it was global tech giant Merck that heavily invests in Gyeonggi Province.

In the talks, Merck’s Electronics business CEO Kai Beckmann agreed to expand the company’s investment here and foster talent for the development of the semiconductor and display fields.

Beckmann also disclosed Merck’s plan to invest over 200 million euros in the two promising fields through its locations in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the country’s capital Seoul.

“We plan to invest in the future success of our customers in Gyeonggi Province. We will talk together lock-step with our customers and grow to support their own growth, ensuring an appropriate, reliable, and sustainable supply of our offerings,” Beckmann said.

In response, Gov. Lee expressed his gratitude.

“I thank Merck for their continued significant investment since a very long time, which is greatly helping to develop the local economy in Gyeonggi Province and secure jobs,” he said.

Late last year, Merck signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to invest about 20 million euros in expanding its display facilities in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

As part of its ESG program, Merck is scheduled to provide training so as to nurture talents in the semiconductor and display industries under the partnership with Gyeonggi Province.

Short for Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance, ESG refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability of a company or business.

Founded in 1668, Merck has pioneered the world’s semiconductor and display industries. The Darmstadt-based outfit tapped into the Korean market in 1989.

Currently, the firm operates six research and production facilities in Korea to hire about 800 employees. Overall, Merck Korea, which is headed by Managing Director Kim Woo-kyu, has more than 1,350 employees in Korea with 11 sites.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.