Shown above is the head office of Samsung Electronics in Korea. South Korea’s conglomerates come up with massive investment and recruitment plans in late May. Photo courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG pledges to hire

It seems that South Korea’s large-sized conglomerates promised to disclose their mid-term investment and recruitment plans throughout this week.

On May 24, three groups of Samsung, Lotte, and Hanwha disclosed their five-year schemes, respectively, while Hyundai came up with a four-year plan.

Samsung pledged to spend 450 trillion won ($360 billion) on its new growth engines like semiconductors and biopharmaceutical industries. It is also set to hire 80,000 employees through 2016.

Up to 80 percent of them would be spent domestically.

Hyundai said that it would invest 63 trillion won in the local market alone to beef up the competitiveness of the group’s automotive business.

Lotte and Hanwha revealed their plans of funneling 37 trillion won and 37.6 trillion won apiece to find out future cash cows and substantially increase their payrolls.

On March 26, SK and SK groups followed suit.

The former noted that it would invest 247 billion won over the next five years, while the latter said that it would spend 106 billion won in the domestic market.

Of note is that they announced the plans just two weeks after President Yoon Suk-yeol took office.

“During the previous Moon Jae-in administration, large-sized firms were checked by the labor-friendly president. With the advent of the conservative president, conglomerates appear to be ready for huge investments,” Prof. Lee Phil-sang of Seoul National University said.

“They would also want proactive support from the new administration, which is expected to be more business-friendly than the previous one. It remains to be seen whether their promises would be kept.”

Some even point out that the groups want to gain non-economic benefits from the plans, like pardons of tycoons _ Samsung and Lotte chiefs were released on parole. There have been reports that they would be pardoned to ensure brisker business activities.