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Korea to foster local growth engine sectors

The government said Thursday it plans to boost support for growth industries in the country’s provincial metropolitan areas by injecting 285 billion won ($265 million) this year.

The program is the latest in a string of projects that the Ministry of Knowledge Economy has pushed since 2009 to develop regional technology hubs.

Under the plan, the ministry will fund nearly 20 billion won this year for each of the Jeolla Provinces’ projects to develop hybrid car parts and lighting technology-based convergence applications.

It also allocated more than 18 billion won for the Chungcheong Provinces’ respective research in green chip technology and mobile phone components compatible with a next-generation network.

In April, the ministry formed a group with industry, technology and municipal affairs experts to assess 20 projects underway throughout the country, from which the four projects received the highest marks. Others involve technologies for offshore plants, biopharmaceuticals, robots and more.

“Most provinces have generated positive outcomes as they hit their stride in earnest over the past year. They exceeded their goals especially in sales and employment,” ministry officials said.

According to the ministry, the programs created a total of 5,682 jobs last year. Jeolla Provinces produced the most with 1,837, followed by Chungcheong Provinces with 1,205 and Gyeongsang Provinces with 1,110.

This year, the ministry said it plans to focus its support on marketing, research and business development, which could bring about corporate investment and job creation in a relatively short time.

By Shin Hyon-hee (