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S. Korea to invest KRW 9T in 13 Key Industries

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea plans to invest a total of 9 trillion won (US$8.7 billion) over the next five years in 13 key industries that will serve as a new growth engine for the country, the ICT ministry said Tuesday.

The plan -- which includes nurturing the local drone market so it can grow twentyfold and tripling the number of artificial intelligence (AI) firms -- was finalized by a committee under the Ministry of Science and ICT, with the participation of officials from all related government ministries.

In December, the ministry designated the new strategic industries that characterize the fast-paced industrial transformation, known as the fourth industrial revolution. The sectors include AI, drones, new drugs and tailored health care.

The government will first concentrate efforts on boosting the development of drones by 2022 with 455 billion won, officials said.

Under this plan, the local market for commercial drones is to expand from 70 billion won to 1.4 trillion won and create some 44,000 job positions.

South Korea is said to rank seventh in the world in terms of drone technology, but it relies on a lot of imported core parts. The components used in the making of autonomous cars, such as cameras and radar, also depend on imports.

The plan would allow the country to move up one notch and create 2 trillion won in added value, policymakers claimed.

In the tailored health care and innovative new drugs, the ministry will allocate 4.4 trillion won over the cited period.

A total of 2.76 trillion won will be solely spent on the customized health care sector by utilizing big data and AI, officials said.

The government will also expand the R&D budget for the development of 30 promising medical devices with an aim of exporting 12 of them in 2022, up from seven in 2016.

Of the total, 1.59 trillion won will be allocated to help develop 129 new innovative pills in 2022, up from 85 in 2015, as Seoul is determined to become a global power in the pharmaceutical and health care fields.

In recent years, local bio companies have become more competitive on the global stage on the back of robust R&D spending and policy support from the government, the ministry said.

In the renewable energy sector, 820 billion won will be allocated for five years in an aim to promote more eco-friendly energy sources, the ministry said.

The plan is part of efforts to increase the percentage of renewable energy from the current 7 percent to 10.5 percent by 2020 and further to 20 percent in 2030.

In the AI sector, considered one of the most profitable sectors, the government will allocate 412 billion won to increase the number of companies from 34 to nearly 100, the ministry said.

The ministry will invest 577 billion won to develop unmanned vehicles, such as first passenger drones, with an aim of emerging as a global leader by 2030.

The government, in addition, concentrates its efforts to boost the development of future-oriented drones, self-driving cars, unmanned ships and agricultural machines.

The size of the global unmanned vehicle market came to $15 billion in 2015. It is expected to grow to $32.6 billion in 2016 and to $274.2 billion by 2023, the ministry added.

The ministry will also invest 566 billion won in developing smart robots that can be utilized in assisting seniors and people with disabilities.

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Source: Yonhap News (May 29, 2018)

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