Despite global economic gloom, Samsung Group announced on Jan. 17 announced it will invest a record 47.8 trillion won (US$41.56 billion) this year and hire an all-time high of 26,000 new employees.
South Korea's largest conglomerate said that it wants to expand future growth engines and contribute to the national economy.
This year's planned investment is a 12% increase from 2011. The figure for new job creation, up 4% from 2011, is also a record.
The group said it would invest 31 trillion won in facilities, up 11% from last year; spend 13.6 trillion won on research and development, up 13%; and spend 3.2 trillion on capital investment, up 10%.
"We will make large investments in our core businesses as well as new business sectors," said the group whose flagship is Samsung Electronics, the world's largest technology company by sales.
The electronics firm has already announced plans for a sharp rise in investment in new business areas. Its mainstay businesses -- memory chips and liquid crystal displays -- have been buffeted by the lackluster world economy.
Samsung Electronics said this month it expects a record operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2011 of 5.2 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), up 73% year-on-year thanks mainly to strong smartphone sales. The group is made up of some 66 affiliates, with businesses ranging from electronics to finance and insurance.
South Korea's family-owned conglomerates have vowed to increase capital spending and hire more staff this year even though the export-dominated economy faces fallout from the eurozone debt crisis and sluggish world growth. The 30 largest business groups promised last week to spend a combined 151.4 trillion won this year and hire 123,000 new workers.
President Lee Myung-Bak, whose single five-year term ends in February 2013, has prioritized job creation efforts and the fight against inflation.
The government last month cut its economic growth forecasts for 2011 and this year because of the eurozone debt crisis and the slowdown in developed nations. The finance ministry said it now expects Asia's fourth largest economy to grow 3.8% in 2011 and 3.7% in 2012 -- sharply lower than its previous forecast of 4.5% for both years.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012