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Vestas to invest $300m in Korea on Yoon’s visit

Merck Life Science, Novartis reviewing $500m investment in Korea

By Shin Ji-hye, Jo He-rim

Published : Jan. 19, 2023 - 10:41

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Vestas CEO Henrik Andersen (left) and President Yoon Suk Yeol hold a conversation at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. (Yonhap) Vestas CEO Henrik Andersen (left) and President Yoon Suk Yeol hold a conversation at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Vestas announced plans to invest $300 million in Korea at a ceremony held Wednesday at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, with President Yoon Suk Yeol attending, according to the presidential office Thursday.

Yoon attended the investment declaration ceremony of wind turbine manufacturer Vestas in Switzerland.

Vestas is a Danish company that ranks first in the world in terms of wind power installation.

Vestas plans to establish a large-scale turbine parts production plant in Korea to produce core wind turbine facilities in Korea and export them to the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, it decided to relocate its Asia-Pacific headquarters to Korea and make Korea a key base in the region.

The presidential office saw the relocation of the Asia-Pacific headquarters as an example showing that Korea is recognized as an investment base among global companies.

Henrik Andersen, CEO of Vestas, directly reported the size of the investment to Trade Minister Lee Chang-yang.

At the investment reporting ceremony, President Yoon said, “In a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in June of last year, we decided to expand mutual investments in the offshore wind power field, and I am delighted to see valuable results.”

"There is an important significance in that Korea has leaped into a wind power manufacturing hub in the Asia-Pacific region and discovered new export engines through the investment in Vestas and the relocation of the Asia-Pacific headquarters."

Vestas has the largest market share in Korea. There are eight affiliates in Korea, including Vestas Korea Wind Technology, which was established in 2001.

Merck Life Science, Novartis reviewing $5m investment

Merck Life Science and Novartis, two major biopharmaceutical companies in Europe, are also reviewing investments of a combined $500 million in South Korea, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

Merck Life Science is considering South Korea as one of the top investment candidate sites for its new plant to manufacture subsidiary materials used in pharmaceutical products.

In a one-on-one meeting with Trade Minister Lee on Thursday, Merck Life Science Chief Executive Officer Matthias Heinzel talked about the company's work in Korea and future plans for cooperation, according to the Trade Ministry.

Lee told Heinzel how he visited Merck's headquarter in Incheon's Songdo in October last year, and explained that Korea was an appropriate site for investment, backed by the government's support policies.

The trade minister also met Novartis President Marie-France Tschudin to discuss possible cooperation, the ministry said.

Tschudin said her company was working with various stakeholders to enhance the accessibility to innovative drugs to achieve better outcomes in patient treatment. She asked for the Korean government's cooperation to encourage investment in life sciences.

Lee explained various efforts the South Korean government is undertaking for the development of the health and medical industries. He also said strengthening cooperation with Novartis would be of great help to the Korean government's push to encourage the biopharmaceutical industry.

The Trade Ministry said it would continue the discussions with these foreign companies to attract investment and will review policies to support the investment plans.