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Culture minister: Netflix investment both opportunity and concern

Park Bo-gyoon says efforts have been made to establish K-culture as the representative brand of South Korea

By Park Ga-young

Published : May 17, 2023 - 16:57

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Park Bo-gyoon, South Korea's minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism, talks during a press conference at the Sejong Art Center in central Seoul on Tuesday. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) Park Bo-gyoon, South Korea's minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism, talks during a press conference at the Sejong Art Center in central Seoul on Tuesday. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

Global streaming platform Netflix's decision to invest $2.5 billion in Korea over the next four years is both an opportunity and a reason for concern, said Park Bo-gyoon, South Korea's minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism, on Tuesday.

The former journalist with 40 years of experience discussed the matter with reporters during a press conference held to mark his first anniversary in the office as the minister.

“We’re mulling ways to maximize the opportunities while minimizing any concerns,” said the minister when asked how the ministry plans address worries that the domestic streaming ecosystem may be undermined by investments from Netflix.

“The government is providing more than four times the amount of policy support to the streaming industry compared to last year. Also, we’re investing 30 billion won ($22 million) in content export activities, including visual effects, translation and dubbing. We’re focused on securing intellectual property and prioritizing broadcasting rights for domestic streaming platforms,” he said, adding that the film and streaming industries are the core areas of focus for the ministry.

On issues of copyright protection, Park said “I believe that individuals involved in cultural and artistic spaces should be familiar with copyright. Copyright should be integrated into everyday life. In particular, considering the difficulties faced by the MZ generation, I plan to deliver a lecture on copyright to students at Cheongju University. I will further explore how to advance and broaden the horizons of copyright-related issues.”

When asked about his biggest achievements of the past year in the office, the minister noted that, on the basis of freedom and solidarity, "efforts have been made to establish K-culture as the representative brand of South Korea. The letter 'K' represents premium quality, and I am a fervent advocate for 'K.'"

Park added that freedom boosts originality, imagination and courage while solidarity means compassion for others and inclusiveness.

Park, who accompanied President Yoon Suk Yeol on his state visit to the US in April, shared his experience of being asked countless questions about the secrets behind the popularity of K-culture, which he answered by highlighting Korean artists' originality, artistic creativity and passion.

“Artists offer stories that resonate with people worldwide, with the idea of journeying together and promoting peace. This combined with our younger generation’s strength in IT technology create a strong, well-crafted and authentic K-culture,” he said.