Local government demands for skills, expatriate workforce exodus… Skills leakage holes everywhere

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According to data on the status of national core technology exports received from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) by the office of Rep스포츠토토. Lee Jong-bae of the Nationalist Party of Korea (NPK) on June 6, the number of deliberations and reports increased from 27 in 2018 to 87 last year. The number of technologies that passed the deliberations and received “approval” or were actually transferred overseas because their reports were “repaired” quadrupled from 22 to 82 in the same period.

The government has designated 73 technologies in 12 fields, including semiconductors, displays, electronics, and automobiles, as national core technologies. Of these, technologies developed with government support require prior review by the Industrial Technology Protection Committee before they can be exported. Unsupported technologies only need to be declared but are subject to follow-up.

As the U.S. and Europe have pushed for policies to secure key supply chains, technology exports by domestic companies have been on the rise in the semiconductor and electrical and electronic (including battery) sectors. Last year, 21 cases of semiconductor technology export review and notification were filed, a 50% increase from the previous year (14 cases), while the number of electrical and electronic cases nearly doubled from 7 to 13 during the same period. The pace of technology transfer is expected to accelerate once Korean semiconductor and battery factories announced in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia are completed and reach mass production.

The problem is that as the number of technology exports increases, so does the likelihood of technology leaks. In fact, when LG Energy Solutions was pursuing a battery joint venture with General Motors (GM), it was asked for experimental data containing core manufacturing know-how to verify battery stability. The company refused, citing the need for national approval, but it is worried that it will be difficult to turn a blind eye to all such requests in the future. Samsung SDI was reportedly asked to hand over sensitive information by US electric car maker Livian, with whom it had been discussing cooperation, which led to the collapse of the cooperation between the two companies.

Choi Ho-jin, a professor of law at Dankook University, said, “Exporting technology has the positive aspect that Korea’s technological prowess is recognized abroad, but it also raises concerns that core technologies will be stolen by foreign companies.”

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