South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group Tuesday announced plans to invest 23.3 trillion won ($20.6 billion) by 2020 in new businesses including cleantech and health care, according to a Reuters report.
In the cleantech space, the company will focus on solar cells, battery cells for electric vehicles and LEDs.
Samsung expects the new business growth will lead to 50 trillion won in annual revenues by 2020.
The announcement is no big surprise, as Samsung--and South Korean industry as a whole--initiated a big push into cleantech over the last year.
In January, Samsung signed a deal to build up to 2,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects and four manufacturing plants in Ontario, Canada. The company also recently became involved in the development of wind farms in California. And Samsung aims to be the world's top solar producer by 2015.
The latest announcement builds on Samsung Electronics' (005930.KS) Eco-Management plan released last August, which outlines a $4.3 billion investment in new energy-efficient products and carbon-reduction initiaties for manufacturing facilities.
Similarly, South Korea's fift-largest conglomerate LG Group, announced plans in April to invest 20 trillion won (US $17.9 billion) over the next decade to reduce its emissions by 40% and develop environmentally-friendly businesses.
These conglomerates have close ties to the South Korean government, which also has seems intent on rivaling cleantech manufacturing in China, while practicing greater environmental responsibility. Last summer the government announced it would invest 2% of its annual GDP in environmental industries over the next five years.