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[Newsmaker] Korea to invest W9tr to speed up digital transformation

Korea continues strengthening the ecosystem of data, network and artificial intelligence

Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook speaks in a pangovernmental meeting of the Korean Digital New Deal at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Wednesday. (Ministry of Science and ICT)
Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook speaks in a pangovernmental meeting of the Korean Digital New Deal at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Wednesday. (Ministry of Science and ICT)
South Korea will inject a record-high 9 trillion won ($7.5 billion) this year into its drive for digital transformation as part of the country’s Digital New Deal plan, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Wednesday.

The biggest portion of the state fund, 5.9 trillion won, will be poured into strengthening the ecosystem of data, network and artificial intelligence.

By the end of this year, it plans to set up 310 additional kinds of AI learning data and a comprehensive platform service that offers state information of 29 institutions. The government will also provide consultation for data analysis of small and medium sized companies and startups.

The support is in line with efforts to expand the country’s data dam, which was launched as a cornerstone project in the country’s Digital New Deal in 2020 to collect information from the public and private sectors to create useful data and release it across all industries for broader and more effective use.

The government will continue to push for the digitalization of social overhead capital, which refers to basic infrastructures in transportation, communication and power services, with the financial package worth 1.8 trillion won.

The government aims to implement an intelligent transport system for 67 percent of the country’s roads to cover some 9,350 kilometers, according to the ministry. There will also be a pilot project of the smart city platform based on data in four local governments in order to provide various public services in each region.

The ministry said the country will look to foster its metaverse industry by injecting 800 billion won this year. It aims to migrate 2,149 information systems to the cloud, which would allow quicker and easier access to information. Last week, the government announced the goal of becoming the fifth-largest metaverse market in the world by the end of 2026.

The country allotted 500 billion won for the expansion of non-face-to-face infrastructures. The government expects to complete the installation of high-speed wireless internet in 380,000 classrooms at every elementary, middle and high school nationwide by the end of next month.

The government also plans to nurture 100,000 small merchants with digital capabilities by helping them create online pages for their businesses and offering consultation.

“The Digital New Deal is a key axis of the Korean version of the New Deal. It is creating results that help Korean companies grow based on active participation of the private sector and changes the lives of the people,” Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook said.

“We will continue to expand and develop the Digital New Deal in close cooperation with related ministries and the private sector so that Korea can stand as a ‘leading digital country’ against the task of digital transformation in this era.”

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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