저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
MIC Minister Priority on IT promotion overseas The MIC (The Ministry of Information & Communication) has announced it will earnestly support the creation of a solution to resolve information disparity between developing and developed countries, since these nations are indicating huge interest in acquiring informatization know-how to transform their societies.
In 2005, MIC will provide IT field experts such as policy makers and the CEOs of some 270 people from the developing countries with educational training opportunities over a total of 15 courses.
In addition, the Ministry plans to organize an overseas Internet service mission composed of 320 young people and dispatch them to 32 countries at the beginning of July in order to carry out activities such as informatization education.
The MIC has established a fund through which to mount initiatives to resolve the information disparity experienced by developing countries in concert with the United Nations ESCAP ICT center to be built in Inchon.
The Ministry helped to improve the informatization environment in Laos by establishing an information access center in late May. In the second half of the year MIC is scheduled to support construct of an information access center in Tunisia, which will host the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in November.
Moreover, MIC is organizing distance learning and training for 100 people in 11 courses in cooperation with the World Bank; in collaboration with the UN ESCAP, the Ministry plans to dispatch missions to Southeast Asia in order to promote cooperation in technological exchange as well as advise on IT policy.
National IT export brand needed
Chin Dae-je, Ph.D., Minister of Information and Communication, Republic of Korea, says in a special interview with the Korea IT Times on the occasion of the publication's first anniversary that buoyed by such informatization support activities, Korea needs to improve its national IT brand in order to revitalize the industry's exports.
To this end, the Minister has committed himself to boosting the national image in regard to IT domestically in the first half of the year, overseas in the second half of the year, and online all through the year.
For example, during Feb. 21-22, 2005 the MIC held a large-scale IT promotion with priority given to smaller companies and is scheduled to hold similar events in New York and London in October.
Minister Chin says that the MIC will strive to improve the national IT brand by strengthening cooperation with institutions such as the International Cooperation Agency for Korea IT (ICA), iPark, the overseas offices of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) as manifested in several affairs agreement between ICA and KITA (July 2004) as well as between ICA and KOTRA (September 2004).
The Minister further emphasizes that MIC will aim to enhance the national IT image with international events that allow prospective investors or buyers to "see and feel" the systems on display.
As part of such publicity programs, the MIC provided global leaders with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience of Korean breakthrough technologies such as DMB and WiBro during the APEC IT Ministers' Conference held in Peru, June 2-4.
Lately, MIC has engaged in large-scale promotion through the mass media and associated institutions at home and abroad by hosting international events such as World ICT Summit (May 16-18, 2005).
On the topic of government support to boost exports of communication services, Minister Chin stresses that the importance of exchanges between governments such as IT ministerial talks, dispatching IT technology as well as policy advisory missions, and participating in the activities of international organizations as well as backing developing country informatization projects such exchange can provide the momentum for domestic companies to make inroads into overseas markets because of the status of IT as national key industry.
As part of such support measures, MIC will do its utmost to help domestic IT companies gain footholds overseas by maximizing the benefits of negotiations within the WTO and also provide communication service companies with IT export support (e.g., iPark), he said.
For instance, MIC has supported SKT in its efforts to build market share in Vietnam during 2004 by leveraging the entry negotiations between Vietnam and the WTO to the Korean company's advantage. Meanwhile, iPark Osaka, an incubator complex that helps Korean IT firms get to know the Japanese market has also supported the drive to help the industry make inroads in the region by helping Samsung SDS win an order worth US$8.5 million from the administration of Japan Saga City.
North/South relations: need for a broader perspective
Chin also explained that communications are vital to promoting economic exchange between North and South Korea and are expected to receive a boost through the formation of the Gaesung industrial complex. The minister explains that as of March 24 communication links between the Koreas are now operating for the first time in the 60 years since the liberation in 1945.
He went on to say that he believes North/South relations must achieve a broader perspective. Going one step forward, Chin emphasizes that expanding IT exchange/cooperation between North and South will play a core role in developing North Korea's backward economy through accelerating the country's level of informatization and edging it toward a market economy.
In this manner, IT is expected to contribute to detente and world peace, he said.
In response to the success of stem cell cloning pioneer, Prof. Hwang Woo-suk, in combining BT and IT, Chin explains that the Ministry has a project under way to study the fusion of the two technologies and commercialization of the resultant product concepts.
The Minister expects that developing bioinformatics, a leading IT/BT fusion technology, would be a great help to the stem cell research of Prof. Hwang Woo-suk.