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'Korea Lagging Far behind Even Southeast Asia in Digital Economy'
Measures Needed to Jump-start Digital Economy
'Korea Lagging Far behind Even Southeast Asia in Digital Economy'
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • October 17, 2018, 11:51
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Kim Bong-jin, chairman of the Korea Start-up Forum, speaks during a ceremony marking the forum's second anniversary in Seoul on Oct. 16.

A leading Korean startup entrepreneur urged the Korean government to ease regulations to jump-start the digintal economy in Korea.

Kim Bong-jin, chairman of the Korea Start-up Forum, said that South Korea is already behind the U.S., China, Europe, and even Southeast Asia in the digital economy, which is a key segment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"The digital economy has reached a point of reforming the entire industry beyond the information and communication technology (ICT)," Kim said during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the forum held at Woori Bank's Myeong-dong branch in Seoul on October 16. "Yet efforts to build the digital economy and establish an ecosystem for development of Korean start-ups have come to a standstill," he said.

In particular, he expressed frustration over the slow progress in the digital economy-based mobility industry, referring to the ongoing controversy over car-sharing services.

Kim said, "US’ Uber, China’s Didi Chuxing, and Southeast Asia’s Grab are growing rapidly to prepare for the era of automatic driving, while South Korea is in a complete stalemate due to a conflict between stakeholders.” He went on, "We must take the first step and prepare for the new era of cutting-edge technology by selecting mid- and short-term projects right away."

He added, "The Korea Start-Up Forum will also actively communicate with various organizations to ensure that digital economy-based mobility services create a win-win situation rather than a conflict."

Meanwhile, the Korea Start-up Forum was first launched in September 2016 with 50 startups, including Woowa Brothers Corp. led by Kim, and grew into an organization with 530 member companies in two years.