Korea is setting international standards
Korea is setting international standards
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  • 승인 2005.07.01 12:01
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Mr. Frans Hampsink, President, EUCCK 1. First of all, How do you assess Korea's IT environment in general Just ten years after the government announced a 15-year plan to simulate growth for communication and information technology, Korea is setting international standards in related industries backed by a vast domestic market of Internet subscribers and cellular phone users. Last year, Korea ranked first among member countries of OECD in terms of IT contribution to the economy, with the industry recording 240 trillion won in production and $74.7 billion in exports. The country boasts 36 million mobile subscribers, 12 million broadband Internet lines and 20 million PCs across the country. The broadband penetration, which was 59.4 percent in 2003, now stands at 70.2 percent. Not for nothing is the country considered an IT powerhouse. It is heartening to know that the Ministry of Information and Communication will focus on promoting next-generation high-tech items to spur exports and implement state-funded IT projects. The telecommunication sector has also developed into one of the most profitable and technically advanced industries of the world, thanks to a domestic market where around 75 percent of the population are cell phone users. Korea was the first to commercialize the use of CDMA chipsets in wireless receivers and eventually developed the technology as a world standard. The country was also the first to have an effective third-generation wireless platform, when it started the cdma2000-1x services in 2000 and followed up with cdma2000-1x EV-DO services in 2002, adding another dimension beyond voice communications where cell phone users are provided with image data and Internet connections, among other multimedia features. With the local wireless market reaching saturation and the fixed-line sector experiencing flat growth, the government plans to develop a new revenue source through convergence concepts. The most notable efforts come in the form of satellite-based mobile broadcasting, or satellite DMB. Korea has also become a leading manufacturer of flat TVs and computer screens, including plasma displays. It is rapidly becoming a force in mobile phones. No country in modern history has tried to do so much in such a short period of time. 2. What do you consider the possibilities of Korea IT technologies such as DMB and WiBRO making inroads into Europe markets Being a definite leader in the mobility area such as digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) and WiBro in terms of technology development and commercialization, Korea established a grand strategy for information technology, the IT839 strategy, the Korean government's blueprint for a ubiquitous society. Korean broadband penetration leads the world, its speeds are among the fastest, and its subscription charges are among the lowest in the world. This success is a result of many factors including, a fiercely competitive market structure, key government involvement, and geography. While Korean broadband experience clearly has elements unique to Korea, other economies, like in the EU can borrow examples of competitive policies and lessons on successful government involvement in Korean broadband development. Both Europe and Korea are strong players in the IT and Telecommunications sector. The mobile telecom industries are very well developed and have a lot of synergies. Nevertheless, both regions have developed their own specialties, which can be of benefit to the other side. By drawing on this mutually beneficial approach, both regions could cooperate to produce a win-win situation, improve their IT & telecom know-how and combine efforts to export to third countries. Korea-EU collaboration can strengthen their joint ability to overcome uncertainties in the world market. The EU is strongly competitive in the fields of automobiles, aerospace and telecommunications, while Korean industries focus on the fields of consumer electronics and mobile devices. R&D activities in EU are focused on the development of basic technologies for industrial applications while those in Korea are focused on the development of product-oriented technologies. Integration of technologies developed well in the EU and Korea, such as automobile-related technologies in EU and mobile multimedia technologies in Korea. Both countries should strive to develop basic technologies that can be applicable to the development of applications in the EU and Korea, while establishing collaborative R&D programs. 3. What is the EUCCK doing to facilitating IT business between Korea and the countries of the EU The EUCCK is the organization representing the interests of the EU business community in Korea and providing a link to decision-makers in Korea. We have 24 committees, which deal with major industry sectors. One such committee is for IT & telecom. The committee strives to promote a close cooperation network between Korean and EU companies. In this sector, EUCCK wants to concentrate on SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises), which have lower exposure to international markets and are far more vulnerable to cultural and language barriers and therefore, the EUCCK can be of a great help to them when they prospect the Korean market. Meanwhile, the Delegation of the EU Commission to Korea and the Ministry of Information and Communication are cooperating closely in this direction, and the EUCCK also provides useful inputs. In April this year a conference on EU-Korea collaboration in embedded systems was held, which demonstrates the growing cooperation between Korea and the EU since the Framework Agreement on Trade and Co-operation entered into force in April 2001. The conference, in particular, highlights cooperation in the field of information technology, which is considered by both partners as an industrial growth engine. 4. In terms of development, how do you rate Korea's IT level Well, in terms of IT technology development, Korea has proved that it is one of the leading countries in the world. The facts speak for themselves. 5. Is the EUCCK hosting any events this year to promote bilateral IT cooperation EUCCK has been regularly holding discussions with government officials, and IT agencies in Korea to promote bilateral cooperation in the sector. In past couple of months, we had a luncheon meeting with Minister Chin Dae Jae of the MIC (Ministry of Information and Communication). We also had meetings with Cho Sung Gap, President, International Cooperation Agency (ICA) for Korea IT, Dr. Park Ki Shik, Vice President of IT Services Research Division, Electronics & Telecommunication Research Institute. We also made presentations on the Korean IT and telecom sectors to the European Commission in Brussels. This year, we plan to make presentations on behalf of ICA in Europe to promote cooperation with SMEs, organize a European delegation of IT & telecom SMEs in Korea and cooperate more closely with the MIC. We are making efforts to intensify the link to the European Commission so that there is more cooperation between Korea and EU in IT. _______________________________________________________________

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