Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of computer memory chips and flat-screen televisions, said on August 16 that it would establish a $836 million fund to help South Korean contractors.
Samsung said the "mutual development" fund would be set up jointly with Industrial Bank of Korea and was aimed at helping contractors receive low-interest loans for research and development from October.
Samsung said it would contribute 200 billion won (US$169 million), with up to 800 billion won coming from the state-controlled bank.
"We have thoroughly reviewed our plan to comply with the recent social issue of mutual development and existence," said Park Jong-Suh, head of Samsung's mutual development and cooperation center.
The move came a day after president Lee Myung-Bak called for a "fair society" and urged big firms to share profits with contractors or small firms.
Lee has stressed the importance of balanced growth between big and small firms. Samsung became the first to respond to Lee's calls, while many other companies are reluctant to do so.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010