Government to Nurture Technology-oriented Industries
By Yeo Hong-il, Supplement Editor / email@example.com
The Korean government is actively spositioning Korea as the ideal place to do business in Northeast Asia by taking advantage of its central location between Japan, China, and Russia's Far East. Korea boasts further competencies besides geography - the country already has a high level of infrastructure, a highly literate workforce with a strong work ethic, and a high level of confidence stemming from successfully hosting the Olympics, Asian Games, and soccer's World Cup. To this end, the government has focused on development of logistics, especially in the Incheon area, finance, IT, and the cultural environment.
In the Northeast Asian environment Korea certainly has to compete with China. Chairman Kim Ki-hwan of the Seoul Financial Forum says that becoming a financial hub is a necessity, not a choice, in order for Korea to maintain its competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. Also, he mentioned Korea must improve its already strong position in IT, due to increasing competition from China and India, by attracting global research and development (R&D) centers from large multinational corporations. According to the Ministry of Information and Technology, China is accelerating its strategy to attract global R&D centers and India also is consolidating the nation's location as the Asia's research and development base: The nation has lured as many as 77 R&D centers of multinational corporations during the last three years. The Korean government aims this year to establish seven R&D centers from such global heavyweights as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, SAS Co., and Qualcomm.
Foreign executives in Seoul point out that in order for Korea to become the hub of Northeast Asia, the country must differentiate its technology-oriented industries such as chip-making, shipbuilding, nanotechnology, biotechnology, mobile telephony and flat panel displays. In particular, they agree that Korea needs more internationally-minded managers. There's more, in order for Korea to become the real hub of the Northeast Asia, it will have to actively attract foreign funds and provide an effective business environment.
However, although many say Korea is coming late to the game, with Singapore and Hong Kong ahead in the financial environment,most are confident in ultimate success by using the momentum gained from the 2002 World Cup.
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