Time to digitize industry-wide
In order to forge an environment in which e-Business in Korea is commonplace, the Korea Institute for Electronic Commerce (KIEC, www.kiec.or.kr) is becoming our country's e-Business hub institution. KIEC was established to encourage domestic electronic commerce in August 1999. It carries out a bridging role between the private and government sectors and a beachhead role for propelling international collaboration.
The Institute is carrying out foundation formation projects including e-Business surveys and research, the development and dissemination of standards, the development of core technology support and the support of manpower development. It does these things in order to prepare a strong institutional and technological foundation through which corporations can introduce e-Business.
To increase the nation's awareness boost about e-Business and corporate e- Business penetration, KIEC is promoting and spreading confidence about e- Business, according to President Han Young-soo.
In a written interview with the Korea IT Times on the Day of Trade on November 30, Han said: "KIEC is pushing ahead business by digging out new issues so that e-Business can be applied more widely and can be diffused over the nation's social life at large." He, among others, stressed that the Institute copes with an aggressively global e-Business environment as an e-Business supervision institution through concrete international cooperation affairs.
Main priority on e-Learning Above all, KIEC seems to attach priority to e- Learning including the e- Learning industry promotion project, e- Business studies, policy development projects, and an international cooperation project.
Han explains: "The e- Learning industry scale is posting high growth of over two-digits every year with a 1.5 trillion won market [US$1.58 billion] according to the realities survey of e-Learning industry carried out by our Institute." Thanks to users' recognition conversion about e-Learning and each governmental ministry's active support, now e-Learning is entering into a quantitative growth period through its initial introduction period, Han diagnoses.
He points out: "It is a reality that related e-Learning manpower and technological levels don't meet expectations whereas users expect qualitative improvement of e-Learning services as interest and markets are enlarged."
In order to cope with current qualitative market demands, KIEC is ceaselessly drafting policies to rear e-Learning as a next-generation high value-added growth industry. Policies include nurturing e- Learning manpower, quality authentication, and next-generation e- Learning technology development, he said.
Alongside of the activation of the e-Learning industry, the President explained: "With the goal of related industry's development, KIEC drives forward e-Learning promotion projects together with the government, associated institutions, universities and corporations plus providing corporation, university as well as the general public with an opportunity of benchmarking by disseminating e-Learning success examples."
Technological backing for early activation Regarding the e-Business research and policy development project, Han introduced: "For the sake of e-Business policy establishment as well as its execution appropriate for rapidly changing e-Business environment, the Institute is providing e-Business knowledge and information of experts through an e- Business study group such as e-Business law institution, management strategy, law institution, B2C, e-Commerce of North and South Korea, and U-Commerce."
KIEC grasps the present condition of e- Business through e-Business surveys like a cyber shopping mall corporate business outlook survey. This survey predicts the future market and further provides corporate e-Business propulsion strategies and the basic materials for governmental policy drafting by analyzing socioeconomical influence.
The Institute deserves attention in that KIEC provides differentiated information regarding e-Business current market circumstance, technology and policy trends by collecting and analyzing e- Business statistics research materials which are published from staple institutions at home and abroad, Han emphasizes.
KIEC is supporting international collaboration and actively participating in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) electronic commerce negotiation, for instance through its international collaboration project. It is also involved in an expert working group operation to cope with the FTA e-Commerce field, hosting regular round-table discussions to collect opinions from corporations, research support for FTA negotiation correspondence, and website construction regarding the present condition of FTA negotiation.
It is said that the KIEC is currently operating OECD as well as APEC e- Business discussion expert group within its Institute for the purpose of trend study about issues which are being discussed in staple international conferences such as OECD, APEC and ASEM related to e- Business and proactive participation, according to Han.
Furthermore, Han underscores: "To take concrete form of global e-Business's actualization in both parties composition, KIEC is beefing up cooperation with associated institutions of e-Business leading countries such as Finland, Japan and England."
Digitization of the entire industry
In addition to such e-Learning projects, KIEC is supporting research surveys as well as technology development about core e-Business technologies to back e- Business growth, which is embossed as the core means of industry competitiveness in the 21st century.
The President notes: "To date, projects have been propelled for the sake of e- Business infrastructure construction, but from now on it is time to accomplish industry's digitalization based on this." In the first place, he revealed plans to propel digitalization of education and health medical industry, adding that these are fields in which already many progress take place with names of e-Learning and e- Health.
In the case of e-Learning, KIEC is devising to be at the head for the digitization of the industry by supporting e-Learning companies' overseas inroads alongside of standardization as well as efforts for quality authentication. In relation to e-Health too, the Institute is supporting remote health control technology development.
In the second place, the Institute also is seeking cooperation methods with other ministries to put the entire industry together.
He has committed continuously to devote best efforts so that e-Business may be spread across the entire industry as well as all of society through the entire industry's digitization.