Seoul: Samsung Electronics on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new semiconductor research and development (R&D) complex here, in a move to bolster its global leadership in cutting-edge chip technology. The South Korean tech giant plans to invest around $15.06 billion by 2028 for the 109,000-square-meter complex within its Giheung campus in Yongin, 50 kms south of Seoul. The envisioned facility is expected to help Samsung lead in areas of advanced research for memory and system semiconductors. The ceremony drew some 100 Samsung executives and employees, including Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who received a presidential pardon last week for his bribery conviction involving former ousted President Park Geun-hye, reports Yonhap news agency. It marked Lee's first public appearance after his pardon. Also ReadInstagram, YouTube start discouraging users from sharing videos on TikTok "We start a new challenge at the Giheung campus, where the first shoveling to build a semiconductor factory took place 40 years ago," Lee said. "Let's continue the tradition of technology-oriented, up-front investment. Let's create the future with technology that currently does not exist in the world," he added. Industry watchers see Lee's visit to the campus as a sign that the Samsung heir is dedicated to supporting the nation in tackling recent economic woes by further advancing the country's semiconductor prowess. Following his pardon, Lee said last week that he will work harder to fulfill his responsibility as a businessman and "help the economy by creating more jobs for young people." Samsung said it plans to strengthen cooperation with domestic and foreign partners in the field of materials, parts and equipment through the construction of the R&D complex.