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Gov't to Embrace Advanced Technologies to Develop Sports Industry

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL = Yonhap News) The government on Monday laid out a five-year plan to develop the national sports industry, saying it will try to capitalize on the country's advanced technologies to turn the industry into a growth engine for the future.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will look to expand the size of its sports business from the current 3.7 trillion won (US$3.5 billion) to up to 5.3 trillion won by year 2018, combining elements of advanced information technology (IT) and other scientific technologies with sports.

At a press conference, Kim Chong, the vice minister of culture, sports and tourism in charge of sports-related affairs, said the government's plan will also see the number of sports jobs increase from 230,000 this year to 270,000 by 2018.

Kim said the ministry will try to build a future-oriented sports market that embraces advanced technologies.

Specifically, the official said the ministry will build an open platform for sports- and health-related information, called the Sports Activity Index, through which people can share sports information with friends through their mobile devices, and also keep track of their exercise logs.

The vice minister said the government also aims to build more interactive sports simulators to cover popular sports such as baseball and football. Golf simulators have sprung up nationwide in recent years, and the vice minister said the aim is to create more opportunities for people to enjoy other sports indoor.

In addition, Kim said the ministry hopes to expand the sports industry's market potential by making sports facilities more accessible and offering consumers more diverse content.

As part of the plan, the ministry will look to build YouTube channels to provide live feeds of amateur sports as well as major professional sports, all accessible on mobile devices, Kim added.

According to the policymaker, the government will also seek to develop and support sports-related corporations. The goal is to establish 20 sports firms with high growth potential each year until 2018 and to operate a support center for start-ups in the business, Kim said.

Finally, Kim said the ministry will create a new department to specifically handle the sports industry, and a new state-run body called the Sports Industry Promotion Center will be set up to assist sports firms and to increase the overall efficiency of executing sports-related policies.

"By blending in IT and other leading technologies, we hope to go from being merely a faster follower to the first mover," Kim said. "The key of our five-year plan is to transform the industry from a producer-oriented one into a consumer-oriented one."

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Dec. 2, 2013)

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