Korean government to inject $36 billion to spur ‘creative economy’

2013-06-05 18:09

Gov’t to inject $36 billion to spur ‘creative economy’

By Yi Whan-woo

The government will invest 40 trillion won ($35.8 billion) over the next five years to turn Korea into a creative economy centered on science and information technologies as well as small and mid-sized enterprises.

Unveiling the master plan to spur the transition, Choi Mun-kee, minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said the government’s goal is to foster an environment where creative ideas and innovative technologies lead to new jobs and markets.This year alone, the government will inject 6.9 trillion won, which will includes a 500-billion-won fund for venture start-ups.

“We hope this plan will create at least 650,000 new jobs and create positive spillover effects throughout the economy,” Choi told reporters. “The master plan is about generating new jobs and industries, ensuring Korea’s global competitiveness and fostering an environment that values creativity.”

He unveiled six strategies ― investing in SMEs, spurring their globalization, combining science and information technologies into conventional industries, expanding financing for start-ups, nurturing talented entrepreneurs and establishing a creativity-based economic paradigm.

“The balance between economic growth and welfare has become crucial here. Such idea can be a solution to a number of social problems such as unemployment,” said Vice Science Minister Lee Sang-mok said. “We need to cope with the global economic paradigm that shifts toward innovative technologies and creative ideas.”

Lee said the ultimate goal of the creative economy is to create new businesses and jobs.

“We can achieve a target employment rate of 70 percent if the creative economy is successfully accomplished,” he said.

The government will also extend its support for firms in terms of intellectual properties. It will set up a blueprint for the development of new technologies and ideas that can be patented while working to create synergy between different ideas and products.

The government will create a separate 200-billion-won fund to protect patents of these firms.

In an effort to gradually increase startup businesses’ dependence on investment instead of loans, the government will seek to boost public and private investment funds. Officials hope the measure will create an environment where startup businesses can easily secure necessary funds to foster individuals with innovative ideas to become entrepreneurs.

To help create a virtuous cycle for new products and technologies, the government will become the first customer for such products through its procurement system.

It will launch a project aimed at promoting integration of information technology in conventional industries, such as agriculture, food, culture and infrastructure.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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