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South Korea's private sector research and development (R&D) spending is
expected to surpass the 41 trillion won (US$36.4 billion) mark for the first
time ever, a report by a local industrial association said Monday.
The Korea Industrial Technology Association (KOITA) report based on a poll conducted on 607 companies engaged in R&D work showed spending likely to go up 8.4 percent on-year to 41.05 trillion won.
Of the total to be spent, money earmarked by large conglomerates is expected to rise 8.9 percent compared to the year before to 31.76 trillion won. Money to be allocated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is likely to gain 6.6 percent to more than 9.29 trillion won.
KOITA said that R&D investment growth forecast for 2012 represents a marginal 0.2 percentage point gain from the year before.
"The growth rate fell well shy of the average 12.3 percent growth in outlays over the past 10 years, but was still twice as high as figures released by businesses in countries such as the United States, Japan and Britain," the association said.
The report, meanwhile, showed that many local firms expected deterioration in the corporate environment this year, vis-a-vis 2011.
The government said South Korea's economy is expected to grow 3.7 percent this year, down from 3.8 percent reached last year, mainly due to sluggish global growth that can hurt the country's exports.