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Moon pledges support for startups

President Moon Jae-in speaks at the meeting with startup leaders in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in speaks at the meeting with startup leaders in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in on Thursday pledged increased support for local startups and to lay the foundations for the drive to make the country into a “digital powerhouse.”

Speaking at a meeting with 21 young entrepreneurs included in Forbes’ list of under 30 Asian entrepreneurs, Moon reiterated his vision of building a “pioneering economy,” and the role of startups have in that vision.

“Startups must survive the valley of death to become global companies. The government will lend its strength to enable innovative ideas to become businesses,” Moon said while stressing the focus his administration places on startups.

Saying that the government will concentrate related resources on helping startups become unicorns -- startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more -- Moon said that the government will “keep the spark of innovative growth alive.”

“The government will boldly execute the Korean New Deal so that (Korea) can lead new industries in the fields of digital and distance (services).”

Moon was referring to services provided without face-to-face interaction, including medical services, which he listed as one of the key areas his administration will focus on in his speech on Sunday.

Moon also said that the plans concerning three projects listed in the speech will be announced in the near future. The three projects are building a digital infrastructure for data, 5G, artificial intelligence-related areas, nurturing distance services, and digitalization of social overhead capital.

“Including launching ‘digital smart fund,’ the government will spur on the efforts to become a digital powerhouse,” Moon said. The digital smart fund is a fund established with input from public and private sectors for investing in rising industries such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence and those related to data.

By Choi He-suk (
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Korea Herald daum