Elon Musk names S. Korea among top candidates for EV investment -Yoon’s office By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard (not pictured) at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

SEOUL (Reuters) -Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said on Wednesday that South Korea was among its top candidate locations for a giant factory it plans to build in Asia for making electric vehicles (EVs), according to South Korea’s presidential office.

Musk had made the remark in a video call with President Yoon Suk-yeol, adding that the company planned to step up cooperation with South Korea on supply chains, Yoon’s office said.

The president asked Musk to build the planned Asian factory in South Korea.

In response, Musk said he considered South Korea to be one of the top candidates and would make the decision after reviewing investment conditions in other countries, including labour quality, technology level and production infrastructure.

“We expect to buy components worth more than $10 billion from South Korean firms in 2023 as we significantly expand supply chain cooperation with South Korean companies,” Yoon’s office quoted Musk as saying.

Yoon said in the discussion he would reform unreasonable regulations that hindered investment by global tech companies, according to Yoon’s office. The president added that the government would continue its effort to attract investment from high-tech companies to enhance the country’s competitiveness.

South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd supplies Tesla (NASDAQ:) with batteries, as do Japan’s Panasonic (OTC:) Corp Holding and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co .

Analysts said Tesla could work closely with such South Korean suppliers as Samsung Electronics (OTC:) Co Ltd and LG Innotek Co Ltd if it built the factory in the country.

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