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Korea to pour W7tr in future industries over five years


The South Korean government and private entities will invest about 7 trillion won ($5.88 billion) in 12 new promising sectors over the next five years, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.

The ministry and some 30 companies and organizations announced detailed strategies to boost the new industries selected as being central to South Korea’s “fourth industrial revolution.”

The partnership picked the new fields based on macro trends, the country’s strengths and private sector’s investment plans, the ministry said.

The partnership, which was first formed in April, will support research and development in the areas.

They include advanced materials, augmented reality and virtual reality, electric and self-driving vehicles, smart vessels, home appliances equipped with Internet of Things, robotics, bio health, drones, premium consumer goods, energy including renewables, and the next generations of display and semiconductor.

In addition to the funds, the ministry said it would stimulate competition, attract overseas talent and train some 30,000 R&D workers to boost the performance. 

Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (Yonhap)
Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (Yonhap)

Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan characterized the fourth industrial revolution with four keywords -- smart, services, sustainability and platforms -- and urged businesses to adopt plans in accordance with these mega trends. Joo also promised that the government will relax regulations and help create markets for the new promising sectors.

Joo pointed out that South Korea lags behind other major countries in these sectors and the country needs to utilize its world class IT infrastructure and strong manufacturing sector.

The ministry estimated that the proportion of these strategic fields is expected to grow to 12.2 percent by 2025, doubling from 6.6 percent in 2015. It would also create more than 380,000 new jobs.

Chairman of Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Park Yong-maan, also the chairman of Doosan Infracore, said, “These plans would be a helpful guide for businesses in times of uncertainty.”

“The plans well reflect the voices of companies, and the government needs to include these policies for the next year.”
By Park Ga-young (