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Bill Gates reveals plan on $ 147 million investment in Korea

Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday (May 6) disclosed a plan to invest $147 million in Korea's information technology sector over the next five years, while meeting with President Lee Myung-bak at the presidential office in Seoul.

"Lee and Gates met at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae Tuesday evening to discuss ways to enhance closer win-win cooperation between Korea and Microsoft in the auto IT and game software sectors," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

"Lee expressed his interest in Microsoft's IT investment projects, as well as in Gates' theory on creative capitalism, while the Microsoft founder praised the new Korean government's efforts to stimulate economic growth on the basis of its respect towards entrepreneurship," said the press release.

Lee also showed deep interest in Microsoft's contract signed earlier on Tuesday with Korean automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors to cement cooperation in the auto IT industry.

Microsoft and the Hyundai Motor companies agreed to invest $113 million and $166 million, respectively, to build an auto IT innovation center in Korea, as part of the Lee government's new IT strategy calling for the nation to seize 10 percent, or 4 trillion won, of the world's automotive IT market by 2010.

Gates also promised to further strengthen the IT and software partnership between Microsoft and Korea's government and enterprises to create about 7 trillion won ($7 billion) in economic value during the next five years, said the press release.

In addition, Gates, who made his first visit to Korea in seven years to attend the annual Seoul Digital Forum, agreed to act as Lee's global advisor at the request of the Korean president, it noted.

"Lee thanked Bill Gates for becoming a member of his international advisory group, while the Microsoft chairman praised Korea's enormous potential as an IT superpower. They shared a common understanding of the world's widening digital divide, as well as of the need to further develop the Internet technologies and lower the digital service fees," Cheong Wa Dae said.

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dunamic-korea.com  (Posted 5/14/08)