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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) Korea's information and communications technology (ICT) industry recorded a real growth rate of 5,3% last year, nearly double the rate of non-ICT industries (2.4%), and accounted for 81.4% (USD 72.65 billion) of the country's total trade surplus (USD 89.23 billion), according to the science ministry's Annual Report on ICT Industry Promotion published August 3.
The report covers industry trends and ICT-related government projects carried out to prepare the country for the Industry 4.0 era, including the 'Comprehensive Mid- to Long-term Measures for the Intelligent Information Society,' 'K-ICT Strategies 2016, and other policies by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
From 2015 to 2016, Korea's ICT industry's growth rate increased from 3.1% to 5.3%, while non-ICT industries witnessed their growth rate fall slightly from 2.6% to 2.4%. The ICT industry's growth is all the more significant considering how Korea's GDP grew by 2.8% last year.
ICT exports reached USD 90.87 billion in H1 2017, a record high for the first half of any year. Previously, the USD 85.25 billion achieved in H1 2015 had been the highest record.
There were 10,514 ICT business ventures last year, a 4.3% increase from 2015. A total of KRW 117.6 billion was invested in companies participating in the science ministry's ICT startup and business venture support project 'K-Global', a 68.7% rise from a year earlier (KRW 69.7 billion), while the number of employees also increased by 50.6% to 3,755 from late 2015 (2,494).
Korea ranked no. 1 in the 2016 global ICT Development Index evaluation carried out by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the second year in a row. Korea accounted for 13 seats at the ITU Council, which has a significant influence on setting international standards, ranking no. 4 with Japan, surpassed only by the United States and China, tied at first place, and Russia.
Korea also successfully attracted this year's ITU Telecom World, a global ICT exposition for ITU's 193 member states, which is expected to take place in Busan this September.
As the three major achievements of this year, the report sites the establishment of an exclusive nationwide IoT network for the first time in the world,the successful launch of the Mugunghwa 7 satellite, and the commencement of UHD broadcasting services in the capital area for the first time in the world.
The report also introduces the launching of an intelligent information society development system designed by experts from public and private sectors. as well as the 'Comprehensive Mid- to Long-term Measures for the Intelligent Information Society' that spans both economic and social sectors,and intends to to actively prepare for the 4th industrial revolution and realize a human-centered intelligent information society,
The science ministry plans to distribute this report to government agencies, national and public libraries, universities, etc., and make it accessible online at the official ministry website (www.msit.go.kr).
Kim Gwangsu, ICT policy officer at the ministry, said, "in order to lead in the fourth industrial revolution and thereby create an economy where everyone can enjoy a higher quality of life, the government must first promote the ICT industry," adding, "based on everyone's understanding and attention on the direction of ICT policies, the government will continue its efforts until Korea initiates an ICT renaissance."
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Source: Yonhap News (Sep. 3, 2017)
** This article was translated from the Korean.