SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) – The government will spend 4.9 trillion won (US$4.6 billion) this year on the national information technology strategy that aims to enhance South Korea’s overall competitiveness and fuel economic growth, the Science Ministry said Sunday.
Of the total, 3.94 trillion won (US$3.69 billion) will go to 786 projects being pursued by central government agencies, with 978.2 billion won (US$917 million) to be given to finance 5,990 projects initiated by regional administrations, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The amount of funds to be allocated has risen 5 percent, or 46.9 billion won (US$44.0 million), compared to last year, according to the Ministry.
The Ministry said that 1.12 trillion won (US$1.05 billion) will be used to strengthen the country’s information technology foundation so that it can act as an engine for economic growth, while 1.84 trillion won (US$1.73 billion) will be employed to upgrade information and communication technology.
Projects to get sizable funding include initiatives to bolster the country’s competitiveness in the creative information industrial sectors and the expansion of South Korea’s digital infrastructure.
Initiatives to increase the country’s presence in cloud computing, mobile services, and next-generation mobile wireless technology will also receive backing from the state, the science ministry said.
In addition, it said that 246 billion won (US$230 million) has been earmarked to reduce information technology-related social problems, with more money to be used to reduce the “information divide” between those who can use information technology comfortably and those who are not familiar with it.