17 Korean companies selected for government’s business support program

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Jang Young-jin, vice minister of commerce, industry and energy, on Wednesday discussed accepting 17 companies into a government program that provides support for business expansion at a hotel in Seoul. [MINISTRY OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND ENERGY]

Seventeen other Korean companies have been included in a government program that will provide financial support and guidance to businesses in transition.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, one of the companies accepted into the government program is EcoPro Materials.

The main activity of the company concerns the manufacture of precursors for rechargeable batteries, including the import of raw materials such as nickel and cobalt.

EcoPro Materials plans to expand its business to recycling used batteries.

The company plans to invest 30.1 billion won ($21.1 million) over the next five years, or 9% of its total assets, and hire 30 new employees to add to its current workforce. of 352 people.

Another company included in the government program, Ercohs Agricultural Corporation, which specializes in baby food, is expanding its operations to include vegan meat alternatives.

The company plans to invest 3.3 billion won over the next five years, or 9% of the company’s assets, and hire 62 additional employees to add to the current 166 employees.

Among the 17 companies selected for the support program, seven are expanding into the automotive business of the future, while seven others are transitioning or expanding into the bio and agricultural industry, including the development of digital health treatments.

Another company accepted by the government program specializes in the manufacture of paper straws and plans to expand its business to paper food containers.

Companies that were accepted pledged a combined investment of 160.4 billion won and 504 new positions.

The Business Reorganization Program, which was first introduced in 2016 under the Business Revitalization Act, provides various government supports including research and development funding as well as low interest loans. interest from public financial institutions such as the Korean Development Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea.

Other benefits include the relaxation of antitrust regulations such as cross-investment between affiliates and tax advantages such as tax credits for tax losses carried forward.

So far, 331 companies have been accepted into the program.

“The purpose of this program is to further stimulate the innovative activities of enterprises,” said a ministry official.

The official added that encouraging companies to venture out and change their businesses to be more innovative could potentially prevent companies from becoming insolvent, thereby minimizing the social costs associated with restructuring.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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