Minister Chin is making further efforts to ensure the prepared plans bear fruit. In commemoration of his first anniversary, the Korea IT Times met Minister Chin Dae- je to discuss the course of policies.
by Hong Suk-un, Managing Editor / firstname.lastname@example.org
To be a driving force of the Korean economy for the coming five to ten years, I developed the "Nine IT Industries New Growth Force", master plan and constructed a system to expand the participation of civil sectors in the entire process of technology development, and reflected the demands for technology development on policies by appointing civil experts as project managers.
In addition, the ministry has been driving the "IT8-3-9 Strategy" as a domestic IT industry development strategy based on the IT industry value chain connecting eight services, three infrastructures and nine new growth driving forces.
To secure advanced source technology, foster high quality research manpower and develop Korea as the R&D hub of Northeast Asia, the ministry has launched all-out efforts to invite R&D centers of such IT companies as Intel, IBM and Fraunhofer to Korea.
Based on the detailed action plans of the IT 8-3-9 Strategy, the ministry will drive specific tasks one by one to create job opportunities, encourage active investment and accelerate production and exports, through which the IT industries will lead the early achievement of the national per capita income target of $ 20,000.
For the success of the IT 8-3-9 strategy, the ministry also plans to drive the innovation of the outcomeoriented R&D processes, foster field-oriented human resources specialized in IT industries and support the development of small-and medium-sized venture businesses in the IT field while reinforcing industrial infrastructure and improving the industrial structure.
To strengthen international cooperation in the IT industries, the ministry will continuously invite of R&D centers of global IT companies to Korea, and provide all the possible support for the success of the ITU Telecom Asia 2004 to be held in September in Busan.
Q.Would you explain the outline of the "project of new growth driving forces" and the goals by stage
To escape from the trap of national per capita income of $10,000 on which Korea has lingered since 1995, and jump up to $20,000, the government has designated nine new growth driving forces focusing on IT industries.
The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) plans to intensively develop the new growth driving forces in the IT field so that the IT industries will play a key role in achieving the goal of $ 20,000 of national per capita income.
The next generation mobile communication sector, where developments are forecast to center on the new high speed wireless packet transmission technologies and IP-based mobile communication network technologies, the trial portable systems for Internet access are to be developed in 2004 and commercialized in 2006. In 2007, the MIC plans to develop trial systems for 4th generation mobile communication and key source technologies.
As for embedded software for the products in next generation growth products, driving forces including informational consumer electronics, vehicles, robots, industrial equipment, medical equipment and the embedded software platform available for the development of diverse products and solutions for each product are planned to be provided every year until 2007.
The digital content of diverse fields such as culture, education, medicine and entertainment are combining with IT technologies, and their importance is growing. The MIC plans to develop multiplatform-linked online game engines in 2004 and hopes Korea will join the big five countries for digital content in 2007.
Telematics integrated mobile communication networks and vehicles to provide diverse advanced services will have terminal software platforms completed in 2004. In 2005, the test bed will be constructed and the wireless network integrated processing protocols will be developed.
Q.The exports of IT companies show high dependency on semiconductors and mobile handsets. The diversification strategies for export items and markets are generally said to be urgent. What kinds of counter measures do you have
At present, the IT industry accounts for over 30 percent of the total exports of Korea. The government plans to foster the IT industry as one of the main export industries to achieve $400 billion of exports and $100 billion of trade surplus in IT industries by 2007.
To join the top five IT-exporting countries, the MIC provides general measures to support domestic IT businesses making inroads into overseas markets. In particular, the government actively supports the small- and mediumsized IT companies to develop new markets in overseas countries.
In the first quarter of this year, the total exports of IT industries amounted to $17.4 billion; shares of semiconductor ($6.1 billion), mobile communications ($3.8 billion) and displays ($2 billion) reached 68 percent. In particular, exports of broadcasting-related products including DTVs ($370 million) and set-top boxes ($290 million) amounted to $770 million, an increase of 163 percent over the same period last year.
The data indicates that the export items of the IT companies gradually diversified from semiconductors, mobile communications and displays to DTVs and set-top boxes.
In the future, promising export items with a sharp competitive edge in IT sectors such as ultra-high speed Internet, home networking and online games among the nine new growth driving forces will be continuously developed and supported for overseas businesses.
To diversify export items, the MIC has launched every effort to create the domestic market for new IT services by driving the IT 8-3-9 Strategy. In addition, the MIC is intensively cultivating new IT services as the main export items of the IT industry by supporting the R&D of the nine new growth driving forces, and overseas marketing, and driving standardization.
So far, exports of the domestic IT industry have heavily depended on such countries as China, the United States, Japan and Taiwan, taking 62 percent of total exports.
For market diversification, the MIC plans to reinforce governmental cooperation with emerging market countries such as Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and China, dispatch overseas market development teams to support the overseas business of domestic companies, and rearrange the export support system to actively support domestic IT companies to make inroads into overseas markets through overseas marketing, manpower training, and export consulting.