South Korean automakers this week agreed to work closer with the local electronics industry to develop automotive semiconductors in an effort to overcome the current global supply shortages and reduce their dependence on imports, according to local reports.

Vehicle manufacturers around the world are struggling with a shortage of processing chips after the global IT industry diverted capacity last year to meet growing demand for consumer electronics.

South Korea has one of the world's leading semiconductor industries, led by companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

The country's local automotive industry relies heavily on imports for its processors, however, particularly from Taiwanese manufacturers such as TSMC.

On Wednesday the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association and the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch joint research projects to expand automotive chip production in the country.

Earlier this month, the South Korean government said it would make available KRW200bn (US$176m) in grants to help strengthen the country's automotive semiconductor manufacturing industry.