The Korea Herald


[Bills in Focus] High-tech industries, investment and trade union transparency

By Korea Herald

Published : July 3, 2023 - 11:47

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Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Act on Special Measures for Strengthening and Protecting the Competitiveness of National High-Tech Strategic Industries

Proposed by Rep. Cho Jung-hun (Transition Korea)

● Given the increasing awareness of the importance of advanced technology for maintaining economic stability, it has become a global trend to promote the growth of high-tech industries and strengthen technology protection actively at the national level. Likewise, there are growing demands for Korea to also reinforce its protective measures for strategic technologies.

This amendment expands the scope of prohibited leaking and intellectual property infringement activities, introduces rewards for reporting the leaking of strategic technologies to foreign countries, and raises the maximum fines for leaking and intellectual property infringement for specific strategic technologies to foreign countries from 2 billion won to 2.5 billion won ($1.5 million), thereby bolstering the protection on strategic technologies and contributing to national economic security.


Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Civil Act

Proposed by Ministry of Justice

● The rise of information technology has dramatically increased the number of digital product transactions. However, the existing legal system lacks the appropriate laws and regulations required to address issues that arise uniquely to digital products effectively.

This amendment stipulates basic matters regarding contracts for providing digital products, such as clarifying the definition of a digital product provision contract, outlining the duty of providers to deliver and maintain quality digital products and setting a two-year liability period for warranties. It thereby aims to ensure safe and convenient digital product transactions while respecting the autonomy of the contracting parties.


Pending Bill: Special Act on Local Investment Promotion

Proposed by Rep. Ku Ja-keun (People Power Party)

● The regional disparity between the capital region and other regions has been aggravated by the concentration of resources in the capital region and the industrial shift away from manufacturing, which is the primary industry of most other regions. Consequently, many other regions are trapped in a vicious cycle of growth stagnation, diminished innovative activities, increasing youth out-migration and economic difficulties.

This bill aims to close the gap between regions effectively by providing people with equal access to opportunities regardless of their residential area. It offers administrative and financial support for businesses relocating to regions outside the capital designated as Opportunity Development Zones, promoting the creation of high-quality jobs in those regions, which will foster a virtuous cycle of talent acquisition, enhanced innovative capabilities and the advancement of industries.


Promulgated Bill: Special Act on Promotion of Distributed Energy

Competent Ministry: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

● This act aims to ensure energy supply security and contribute to the national economy by prescribing the grounds for the widespread adoption of distributed energy. It stipulates an electronic power system impact assessment system, a virtual power plant system and a mandatory distributed energy installation system; assigns electric distribution business entities with the role of managing distribution networks; implements a regional electricity fee system as well as a distributed energy specialized region system; and establishes a distributed energy promotion center and distribution energy supporting center.


Administrative Announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act

Competent Ministry: Ministry of Employment and Labor

● To enhance accounting transparency and promote the democratic operation of trade unions, this amendment requires trade unions with 1,000 or more members to disclose the results of their account settlements. Failing to fulfill this obligation would exclude the trade union and its affiliates from receiving tax credits for union dues. It also prescribes the qualification requirements for auditors, stipulates the time frame and method for publicly reporting union account settlements and operational status, and enables the disclosure of account settlement results through a public disclosure system.


The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by local law firm Dr & Aju to provide the latest information on bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.

For any queries about the bills, contact