NATIONAL

Moon highlights SMEs, startup support plans

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Jan 7, 2019 - 16:53
  • Updated : Jan 7, 2019 - 16:53

President Moon Jae-in on Monday stressed the importance of SMEs and startups in the Korean economy, continuing to place emphasis on economic issues.

Moon dedicated much of his New Year’s message to economic issues, and one of his first engagements of the year was a visit to Maker Space, a shared industrial facility that provides equipment to its users. 

President Moon Jae-in speaks at the meeting with businesspeople running SMEs and startups at the presidential office in Seoul on Monday. Yonhap

Speaking at a conference with about 200 businessmen running SMEs and startups held at Cheong Wa Dae, Moon highlighted his administration’s support for such businesses.

“SMEs and startups are the key players of the people-centric economy the government is striving for. The most important current issue is employment, and SMEs that account for 80 percent of overall employment must thrive,” Moon said, adding that innovative SMEs and startups are “the principal agents” developing new technologies and industries.

Listing SMEs and startup-related figures, Moon went on to reiterate measures that will be rolled out this year.

According to Moon, support measures rolled out last year led to the establishment of more than 100,000 companies, and more than 3.4 trillion won ($3.05 billion) being invested in startups. Moon also cited figures that showed more than 600 startups have recorded over 100 billion won in annual sales. Measures mentioned by Moon include improving fair trade conditions for SMEs, and support provided through financial institutions.

“(This year) a venture fund in excess of 4 trillion won will be invested in SMEs. A significant portion of the 20 trillion won research and development budget will be used to support SMEs’ technology development,” Moon said.

Moon also said that this year’s budget includes 1.1 trillion won set aside for SMEs’ research and development funding, and again listed the goals of his administration’s plans for introducing cutting-edge technologies to the country’s manufacturing sector.

Under the plans, the government hopes to establish 4,000 “smart factories” and “smart industrial complexes” this year. By 2020, a total of 30,000 smart factories and 10 smart complexes will be established.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)