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S. Korea to invest $400 mln in development of new growth engines

South Korea will invest over US$400 million this year to help develop new and indigenous products and technologies that will help boost the country's economy and exports, the government said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the government seeks to develop 13 new industrial growth engines that include smart wearable devices, self-driving vehicles and a high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle that can take off and land vertically.

For their development, the government will invest 254.8 billion won, or about $230 million, this year with an additional 194 billion won earmarked for the commercialization of the new growth engines.

"The ministry will soon launch the so-called stepping-stone project that will allow early commercialization of products that are made available as an interim outcome of the development program," it said in a press release.

The program aims to help secure new growth engines for the future but also help advance and diversify the country's export items.

South Korea's outbound shipments reached a new annual high last year, growing 2.4 percent on-year to $573.1 billion, the ministry said earlier.

However, five key industries, including semiconductors and petroleum, accounted for over 45 percent of the country's overall exports in 2014. (Yonhap)
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