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New Paradigm of Economic Policy Creates Visible Results Centered on Creative Innovation Centers
Creative Economy
New Paradigm of Economic Policy Creates Visible Results Centered on Creative Innovation Centers
  • By Lee Song-hoon
  • May 3, 2016, 07:00
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The Creative Economy promoted by Park Geun-hye’s Administration, which has been proceeding with great inspiration since the inauguration of the new administration in 2013, is significantly boosting the Korean economy. Recently, according to the government, the number of companies supported and fostered by the nationwide Creative Economy Innovation Centers surpassed 2,000. Among them, start-ups (newly founded firms) with less than seven years’ operation numbered 939 and 800 jobs are reported to be created through such start-ups. 

 The number of companies, which are supported and fostered by the Creative Economy Centers at 18 base cities started with Daegu City in September, 2014 and reached total 2,105 including 929 start-ups and 1,176 small and medium-sized companies. 929 start-ups supported by the center said that their sales increased by a total of 77.7 billion won and they employed 758 new employees.

It is said that 18 Creative Economy Innovation Centers aided these companies with a total of 7.54 billion won including 335.6 billion won of the centers’ funds and 418.4 billion won of funds from the outside. These funds include direct investment, loans and guarantees and other funds.

More recently the economic mission that accompanied President Park during her visit to the United State and Mexico, conducted one on one business meetings on the spot and some companies fostered by the Creative Economy Centers successfully made one on one export meetings for the first time. One of such companies is environmental-friendly marine bio company MarineTechno. The company successfully made an export contract of US$200,000 for next five years via a one on one business meeting with a USA-based distribution company.

This company built a factory with a cloud fund of 80 million won from 43 investors after it developed cosmetic products using fishery byproducts with support from the Jeonnam Creative Economy Center. MarineTechno is now receiving various supports including small and medium innovation, laws, financial consulting and other professional areas beyond simple funding from the Creative Economy Center.  

President Park, inspired by the company’s growth, started on-site tour, checking the creative economy soon after she came back from overseas visits. She visited the Chungbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center and the Jeonbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center one by one for two days after returning to Korea on April 8 from the United States and Mexico.

President Park had a meeting at the Chungbuk Center with the CEOs of 12 companies including successful cloud funded companies by the Creative Economy Innovation Center, participants for one on one export meetings during recent visits to USA and Mexico and participants to the Mobile World Congress held February in Barcelona, Spain and then listened to their success stories, experiences and wishes and encouraged them. 

Since its establishment in February 2015, the Chungbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center , has supported 101 small and medium-sized firms and venture firms and attracted 5.4 billion won of investment by transferring 317 patented technologies and one-stop consulting services on finance, law, production and technologies.

On that day, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning also held ‘Integrated Employment Zone Ceremony’ at the Chungbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center. Employment Zones are already partly run by some provinces. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning introduced, start-up job matching (Gyeonggi Province), software training for those who did not major in software in college (Daegu) and Lotte Job Café along with the Lotte Group (Busan) as successful cases of Employment Zone.

Employment Zone aims to provide good jobs and opportunities for businesses for youths. The zone will be in charge of introducing jobs at start-ups (newly founded venture firms) and small & medium-sized companies. The zone also supports business foundation, education and others and promotes the development of human resources. Each employment zone will have an average of five to six full-time staff members. The zone will find at least 2,500 good jobs and give opportunities for education and training to 10,000 peoples by the end of this year via about 200 employment and business foundation programs.     

President Park encouraged people to implement the Creative Economy at the Jeonbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center by building a mutual growth model between supporting companies and incubated companies and also emphasized that many successful cases should be spreading. 

The Jeonbuk Creative Economy Innovation Center, since it was started November 2014, has supported 102 start-ups and small & medium companies and also attracted 6.55 billion won in investment through one-stop consulting service which drove 1,537 cases of mentoring ,legal and patent services.

In the meantime, the President visited the Creative Economy Innovation Center in Daejeon on February 25, in Daegu on March 10, in Busan on March 16, in South Chungcheong Province on March 18 and in Gyeonggi Province on March 22 and gave encouragement to people there.

President Park Geun-hye’s will for Creative Economy policies is persistent, entering the year since her inauguration. These policies are political commitments made during her presidential candidate days. She thought that Korea’s fast follower strategy hit its limits in the face of the global economic crisis and the rise of developing countries although it paid off for Korean economy over the past 40 years.  

Therefore, as a breakthrough strategy, Park’s administration has established Korean-style creative economy strategies based on science & technology and ICT capabilities.

Major advanced countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, prior to Korea, shifted their economic paradigms into the creation of markets and jobs through creation and innovation. They are carrying out plans for economic growth based on their strengths such as cutting-edge technologies, culture and art.

The following is the definition of the creative economy on the home page of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. “The creative economy is a new economic paradigm based on ideas or creative minds which breaks away from an economic framework centered on capital, technology, sales and labor,” the home page says. “It is to create new markets and jobs on the foundation of convergence, veering away from the existing simple market expansion system.”

When President Park Geun-hye took office, the new administration combined the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Korean Broadcasting Commission into the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in order to go forward with the creative economy. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning built the Creative Economy Innovation Center and Creative Economy Town in each region and has been supporting them with large companies with a view to promoting the creative economy.