The South Korean government said Wednesday it plans to pour 9 trillion won ($8.1 billion) into the information communications technology industry by 2020.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced the new plan, dubbed the K-ICT Strategy, pledging to elevate the nation’s related production to 240 trillion won and exports to $210 billion over the next five years.
Under the plan, the government will overhaul the nation’s ICT industry as a whole; make a large-scale investment to expand ICT convergence services; seek overseas sales channels; and nurture 17 projects in nine key areas.
An R&D cluster will be set up to enhance cooperation between businesses and research institutions, while a “fast-track” system will help companies get faster support to promptly respond to ever-evolving technologies.
In an effort to expand convergence services, the government will inject 2.1 trillion won into six areas ― education, health care, tourism, city planning, energy and traffic ― for pilot programs by 2019.
Nine other key strategic fields subject to new investment include the Internet of Things, cloud computing, the fifth-generation mobile network service, ultrahigh-definition resolution, digital content and big data.
In partnership with telecom carriers, among other things, the government aims to start the world’s first commercial service of the 5G mobile network from 2020 by securing more than 90 percent of related components among local makers.
The ministry said the plan comes at a time when Korea, a leading player in the ICT industry, faces growing challenges both from big Japanese companies and fast-emerging Chinese manufacturers.
Old regulations that are failing to catch up with evolving technologies are also cited as one of the key factors that hamper the ICT industry’s next big leap, added the ministry.
“We have thoroughly reviewed the K-ICT Strategy with businesses and academics for the nation’s ICT industry to make its next big leap,” said Minister Choi Yang-hee. “In order to carry out the strategy, the government will ramp up efforts to remove all obstacles and listen to on-site voices.”
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)