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Hallyu streets, online market to be established

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Wednesday it will promote “hallyu,” or the Korean Wave, in earnest by establishing hallyu streets in Seoul and an online market where consumers can purchase hallyu content including TV dramas, film and music.

The ministry announced the plans to push four main projects to promote the Korean Wave following the “2010 Hallyu Forum” held at the press center.

The four main projects include establishing hallyu streets in Seoul, setting up an online hallyu market, making a global hallyu map, and expanding cultural exchanges with Central and South America and Europe.

With the number of international travelers visiting Korea increasing every year, hallyu streets will attract even more Asian fans of hallyu stars to Seoul, ministry officials said.

Chungmuro, the birth place of the Korean film industry, Gangnam, a district where entertainment companies are clustered and the Cheonggyecheon area in central Seoul will be reviewed for possible hallyu streets, they said.

The ministry will also develop an online market where Koreans as well as international consumers will be able to search information about hallyu stars and products and purchase content including dramas, movies and music. The website will be serviced in multiple languages including English, Chinese and Japanese, it said. The ministry plans to test-run the online market next year.

While local hallyu content producers are making inroads into overseas markets, a global hallyu map will help them show overseas market trends, hallyu export data and overseas consumer surveys, the ministry said.

To expand the Korean Wave in Asia into the South American region and Europe, the ministry will push forward cultural exchange programs, it said.

Meanwhile, the government said the “hallyu index” in 2010 was 101, slightly higher than the benchmark 100, which was based on 2009 data of hallyu content exports and the level of affinity toward Korea shown by other countries.

Korean music had the highest hallyu index with 107, followed by games with 101 and broadcasting with 100.

By country, Taiwan showed the highest hallyu index with 103, followed by Vietnam and Thailand with 102 and Japan with 98.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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