The Korean government has begun to promote the water industry with the aim of catching two rabbits at the same time -- solving water shortage problems and discovering a new growth engine. The Korean Ministry of Environment announced on Dec. 4 that an enforcement ordinance of the Water Management Technology Development and Water Industry Promotion Act will come into effect on Dec. 13.
The ministry plans to earn 10 trillion won in water industry exports and create 37,000 new jobs by 2030 by implementing the water industry promotion act. The law and its enforcement ordinance will support the commercialization of high quality products and technologies for three years by verifying and evaluating water-related products and technologies.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the global water market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.2% by 2022, to US$725.2 billion. About US$18 trillion is expected to be invested in the world water industry from 2011 to 2030.
However, industry experts say that about 72% of domestic water businesses are small enterprises with fewer than 10 employees and it is difficult for them to secure their own capabilities for technological innovation and overseas advancement. Accordingly, the enforcement ordinance includes a system to designate SMEs that meet certain requirements, including R&D investment, as innovative water business enterprises and give them support for five years.