“I, as the President of the Republic of Korea, will satisfy the will of the people in striving for economic revival, cultural prosperity and the wellbeing of the nation,” said President Park Geun-hye on February 25 at her inauguration ceremony, adding, “I’ll dedicate my all to your happiness.”
The inauguration was held in front of the National Assembly building located in Yeouido, Seoul. It was attended by more than 70,000 participants, including honored guests from home and abroad and the general public. The title of the inaugural address was “Opening the New Era of Hope”. There, she mentioned economic revival, cultural prosperity and the happiness of the nation as her key agenda for the upcoming five years, promising that she would contribute to the welfare of the people.
“Today is the very first day of my setting out to meet the great challenge of creating another miracle of the Han River with all people,” she went on, “I’ll be in pursuit of creative economy and economic democratization to achieve the goal of economic prosperity.” Though the term of democratic democratization had not been found in the 140 national administration agenda items announced last week by her transition team, she mentioned it in person on that day and therefore it is likely that the new government will accelerate its efforts for corporate governance restructuring and the eradication of unethical business practices.
“At the center of creative economy are science technology and information communications technology,” she continued, “The Ministry of Creative Science for Future will take the leading role in the quest for the new economic paradigm.” With regard to economic democracy, she remarked, “One of my most important goals is ensure that big businesses and small and midsize enterprises thrive together through policy measures to assist the latter. To this end, I’ll root out unfair practices handed down from the past.”
She also emphasized that she would bring happiness to all people by means of effective welfare policy. “My new, tailored welfare policy paradigm is to guarantee that all people make their living without any unnecessary worries. I’ll do my best so anyone can enjoy a life of ease in his or her old age and give birth to and raise their children with no worries,” she said.
“During my term, all people will enjoy a cultural life while creative activities are supported in various genres and the cultural contents industry is promoted through the convergence with cutting-edge technology that will create jobs and accelerate the advent of creative economy,” added the president.
In the meantime, she stressed that North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile development program would not be tolerated in any case. “The North is threatening the peace of the Korean peninsula and the future survival of the nation but the biggest victim of such activities will be none other than North Korea. I urge the country to renounce its nuclear ambitions right away to aim for mutual prosperity.”
Economic Revival and Democratization: Park Geun-hye Government’s Key Word for Creative New Era
President Park Geun-hye is reading people’s letters in the Gwanghwamun Plaza after finishing her inaugural ceremony in front of the National Assembly building in Yeouido, Seoul.
President Park Geun-hye emphasized the keyword of economic revival in her inaugural ceremony on February 25, mentioning creative economy as one of the most important tools for it. “What I mean by creative economy is inter-technological and industrial convergence, the combination of culture and industry and creation of something new across industrial boundaries,” she remarked.
Her theory of creative economy is directly related to the new government’s goal to achieve an employment rate of 70%. The electronics, automobile, shipbuilding, steelmaking and petrochemical industries, which have led the economic growth of Korea for the past half century, are now in their maturity stage and thus have their own limitations regarding job creation. What the president is aiming to do is seek new growth drivers and create more jobs by means of advanced scientific and information communications technologies.
The establishment of the Ministry of Creative Science for Future, one of her election pledges associated with creative economy, is completed once the revision bill to the National Government Organization Act proposed recently by the government is approved by the National Assembly.
Many people are paying keen attention to what specific policy will be implemented by the new ministry. Some of the anticipated policies are those for the promotion of creativity-oriented small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) and startup firms led by young businessmen, expansion of national R&D investment, establishment of a new concept of cultural contents industry, revitalization of the information communications industry and advancement of science technologies and the culture industry.
For the first goal, the government is planning to foster young entrepreneurs by providing colleges with more startup assistance functions. Tax incentives and financial supports are beefed up in accordance with the Special Tax Treatment Control Act so that more young company founders can benefit from angel investment while the government raises funds to that end in conjunction with major corporations. Further, the government is going to come up with M&A support measures to help venture firms increase their presence and strength in the industry.
In the meantime, the president promised during her campaign that she would raise the ratio of national R&D investment to the GDP to 5% by 2017. The percentage had been 4.03% in 2011. The new investment is concentrated on SMEs and long-term research and development projects. Also, some of the budgets of government-funded research institutes is invested in R&D projects of SMEs in a quota system to be newly introduced.
The Information Communications Technology Transfer Center and the Contents Korea Lab are founded for the revival of the information communications and cultural content industries and some funds are raised to back up their activities. Daejeon City is grown as the capital of science and technology and cultural industrial hubs are built in northern Gyeonggi Province and the metropolitan region, too.