The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has placed the focus of its policy direction for 2013 on creation of jobs, new industries and new demands.
Choi Moon-ki, who tapped to head the science & information, communication and technology (ICT) ministry, said that the government will create an environment where everybody can suggest fresh ideas and establish venture companies.
At the same time, the ministry plans to cement the foundation of science technology and ICT by intensively fostering basic science and software (SW) fields.
In a recent briefing on the 2013 policy goals to President Park Geun-hye, he said that the ministry will create more jobs by fostering a climate for business start-ups and bringing the country's scientific research close to a world-class level.
Along with this, the minister said that the ministry will make doubled efforts to create communication and Internet environment, which will be helpful to the people's daily life, by pulling down communication fees and expelling Active X from major websites.
"The ministry will also launch a government-wide project, under which social issues such as food safety and environmental accidents could be resolved through scientific technology," said Choi, the first minister of the newly established ministry.
The ministry was created under the government's reorganization plan, and is the icon of the Park administration's "creative economy," where scientific technology and information technology play key roles in the country's economic growth.
Earlier in the year, President Park said that the ministry will be a main government agency responsible for the nation's future economic growth and job creation. She has repeatedly stressed that ICT is a future growth engine for the country.
Noting that the ministry will extend support and strengthen policy coordination with related agencies in a bid to create an environment for business start-ups, he said, "It will begin a project to create 10 new industries by 2017 through combination of science, ICT and culture."
It aims at creating a total of 408,000 new jobs by 2017, about 90,000 of which are to come from business start-ups.
Related to this, the ministry projects to help universities provide training programs to students who want to be involved in business start-ups.
Choi said the ministry will work to boost scientific research and development with sales of state-funded institutes rising to 500 billion won in 2017 from 107 billion won in 2012.
Stressing that the ministry will nurture scientific minds and groom the knowledge industry, he said it plans to boost output of the country's software industry to 100 trillion won in 2017 from 31.2 trillion won in 2012.
"We will also exert all-out efforts to let the country boast the world's fastest wireless and wired network in 2017 with the number of public Wi-Fi zones saoring to 10,000 in 2017 from 2,000 in 2012, and gigabit speed Internet connections available in most parts of the country as well," said Choi.
The ministry is also moving to encourage local mobile operators to phase out subscription fees by 2015. The fee currently ranges from 24,000 won to 39,000 won. The ministry expects the abolition of a mobile subscription fee to cut mobile charge by around 500 billion won annually.
"In particular, we will actively push ahead with building a data base (DB) of information useful for the private sector, including culture and medical service," he said.
He added that the ministry will make a strong push for the national informatization project, which grafts ICT, the vitamin of the creative economy, onto a variety of fields, including traditional markets, agriculture and small- and medium-sized enterprises.