SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Major South Korean companies’ spending on research and development (R&D) rose more than 3 percent in 2020 with manufacturers taking up the bulk of the total, data showed Monday.
R&D spending by the country’s top 1,000 corporations stood at 55.4 trillion won (US$46.6 billion) last year, up 3.35 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT).
Last year’s R&D spending accounted for 4.53 percent of their sales last year, up 4.29 percent from a year earlier.
The ratio had been on the rise since 2010 with the figure exceeding the 4 percent level in 2019 for the first time.
Manufacturing companies’ R&D spending amounted to 47.4 trillion won last year, or 89.1 percent of the total, with spending by companies with a workforce of 1,000 or more accounting for 85.5 percent.
Global tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co., chip giant SK hynix Inc. and seven other companies spent 1 trillion or more on R&D last year, with their total spending amounting to 34.2 trillion won, or nearly 62 percent of the total.
Samsung Electronics was the top spender with 17.8 trillion won, followed by SK hynix with 3.4 trillion won, home electronics titan LG Electronics Inc. with 3 trillion won and No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 2.8 trillion won.
KIAT said solid growth of R&D spending by major businesses is a positive sign, which is expected to help pave the way for a post-pandemic recovery of the local economy.