Tesla CEO Elon Musk and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met in Washington on Wednesday. The pair discussed potential Tesla investments in South Korea, including possibly constructing a gigafactory.
It isn’t the first time Musk and President Yoon have discussed the possibility of a Tesla gigafactory in South Korea. In late November 2022, President Yoon’s executive office revealed that the pair talked about Tesla in a video call. At the time, Tesla had not revealed the location of its next gigafactory, but it was clear there would be another EV factory announcement soon. Eventually, Tesla announced the construction of Gigafactory Mexico.
However, South Korea’s President Yoon doesn’t seem phased by Tesla’s Giga Mexico announcement. President Yoon talked to Musk about what South Korea could offer Tesla. He argued that South Korea was ideal for one of Tesla’s gigafactories, adding that the country had cutting-edge industrial robots and highly skilled workers.
President Yoon also offered support for Tesla’s investment, including tax benefits. During last year’s discussions, President Yoon was prepared to provide “tailored” support to companies wanting to invest in South Korea.
“If Tesla, SpaceX, or other companies are considering more investment in [South] Korea, including constructing a gigafactory, the government will do our best to support the investment,” President Yoon said. “We are preparing a tailored approach to grant some advantages to these specified companies.”
South Koreans might be on board with President Yoon’s efforts. Retail investors in South Korea bought $2.8 billion worth of Tesla stock by the end of 2022. The Korea Securities Depository reported that local day traders bought $160 million worth of Tesla shares up through December 27, 2022, despite TSLA’s downward slide at the time.