Centrist presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo pledged Friday to create a regulation-free industrial park to encourage the launch of more startups.
The nominee of the center-left People's Party made the promise during a meeting with trade industry representatives, saying he believes in the importance of easing regulations while simultaneously strengthening the monitoring of firms.
Ahn Cheol-soo, presidential nominee of the People's Party, speaks to trade industry representatives at the Convention and Exhibition Center in southern Seoul on April 14, 2017. (Yonhap)
"In the same way that sports matches need simplified rules and stricter refereeing, the same applies to a state," he said.
"Startups need an industrial complex where they can be free from regulations and try out various things."
Before entering politics five years ago, Ahn was best known as the founder of South Korea's leading antivirus software firm AhnLab.
"The principal players are private citizens and firms, and the role of politics and the government should be limited to creating a base upon which they can freely demonstrate their abilities," he said.
The government should first upend the education system to nurture a creative workforce and invest in science to foster the development of indigenous technologies, he added.
Ahn is currently seen in a duel with Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party ahead of the May 9 presidential election. (Yonhap)