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South Korean President Yoon meets with Tesla's Elon Musk

Published 04/26/2023, 05:51 PM
Updated 04/26/2023, 10:47 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tesla electric vehicles for test driving are parked in Hanam, South Korea, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday in Washington to call for investment in his country, Yoon's office said.

The two met at Musk's request as Yoon is in the U.S. for a six-day state visit, said Choi Sang-mok, Yoon's senior economic secretary, according to a transcript of a news briefing Choi gave in Washington on Wednesday provided by Yoon's office.

Yoon touted South Korea as an ideal country for Tesla to build a gigafactory, citing the country's cutting edge industrial robots and high-skilled workers, Choi said.

"(President Yoon) also said he would actively support Tesla in terms of location, human resources and tax if it makes the investment decision," Choi told reporters.

Musk told Yoon that South Korea remains as one of the top candidates for Tesla's Gigafactories, and he would have an opportunity to visit the Asian country, according to Choi.

Tesla and Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© Reuters. South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol meets with Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter, in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2023.   Yonhap via REUTERS

In November, Yoon told Reuters that the country would offer "tailored" incentives and minimise any risks posed by unions to encourage Tesla's investment, days after he had a video call with Musk.

In March this year, Musk announced Tesla will build a new factory in Mexico, which would be its first plant outside of the United States, Germany and China. Canada and Indonesia have also been cited as potential candidates for Tesla's new factory.

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